WorldWideScience

Sample records for methodologic quality score

  1. Automatic ECG quality scoring methodology: mimicking human annotators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johannesen, Lars; Galeotti, Loriano

    2012-01-01

    An algorithm to determine the quality of electrocardiograms (ECGs) can enable inexperienced nurses and paramedics to record ECGs of sufficient diagnostic quality. Previously, we proposed an algorithm for determining if ECG recordings are of acceptable quality, which was entered in the PhysioNet Challenge 2011. In the present work, we propose an improved two-step algorithm, which first rejects ECGs with macroscopic errors (signal absent, large voltage shifts or saturation) and subsequently quantifies the noise (baseline, powerline or muscular noise) on a continuous scale. The performance of the improved algorithm was evaluated using the PhysioNet Challenge database (1500 ECGs rated by humans for signal quality). We achieved a classification accuracy of 92.3% on the training set and 90.0% on the test set. The improved algorithm is capable of detecting ECGs with macroscopic errors and giving the user a score of the overall quality. This allows the user to assess the degree of noise and decide if it is acceptable depending on the purpose of the recording. (paper)

  2. Rating the methodological quality in systematic reviews of studies on measurement properties: a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terwee, Caroline B; Mokkink, Lidwine B; Knol, Dirk L; Ostelo, Raymond W J G; Bouter, Lex M; de Vet, Henrica C W

    2012-05-01

    The COSMIN checklist is a standardized tool for assessing the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties. It contains 9 boxes, each dealing with one measurement property, with 5-18 items per box about design aspects and statistical methods. Our aim was to develop a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist to calculate quality scores per measurement property when using the checklist in systematic reviews of measurement properties. The scoring system was developed based on discussions among experts and testing of the scoring system on 46 articles from a systematic review. Four response options were defined for each COSMIN item (excellent, good, fair, and poor). A quality score per measurement property is obtained by taking the lowest rating of any item in a box ("worst score counts"). Specific criteria for excellent, good, fair, and poor quality for each COSMIN item are described. In defining the criteria, the "worst score counts" algorithm was taken into consideration. This means that only fatal flaws were defined as poor quality. The scores of the 46 articles show how the scoring system can be used to provide an overview of the methodological quality of studies included in a systematic review of measurement properties. Based on experience in testing this scoring system on 46 articles, the COSMIN checklist with the proposed scoring system seems to be a useful tool for assessing the methodological quality of studies included in systematic reviews of measurement properties.

  3. Evaluation of methodologies for assessing the overall diet: dietary quality scores and dietary pattern analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocké, Marga C

    2013-05-01

    This paper aims to describe different approaches for studying the overall diet with advantages and limitations. Studies of the overall diet have emerged because the relationship between dietary intake and health is very complex with all kinds of interactions. These cannot be captured well by studying single dietary components. Three main approaches to study the overall diet can be distinguished. The first method is researcher-defined scores or indices of diet quality. These are usually based on guidelines for a healthy diet or on diets known to be healthy. The second approach, using principal component or cluster analysis, is driven by the underlying dietary data. In principal component analysis, scales are derived based on the underlying relationships between food groups, whereas in cluster analysis, subgroups of the population are created with people that cluster together based on their dietary intake. A third approach includes methods that are driven by a combination of biological pathways and the underlying dietary data. Reduced rank regression defines linear combinations of food intakes that maximally explain nutrient intakes or intermediate markers of disease. Decision tree analysis identifies subgroups of a population whose members share dietary characteristics that influence (intermediate markers of) disease. It is concluded that all approaches have advantages and limitations and essentially answer different questions. The third approach is still more in an exploration phase, but seems to have great potential with complementary value. More insight into the utility of conducting studies on the overall diet can be gained if more attention is given to methodological issues.

  4. Rating the methodological quality in systematic reviews of studies on measurement properties: a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terwee, C.B.; Mokkink, L.B.; Knol, D.L.; Ostelo, R.W.J.G.; Bouter, L.M.; de Vet, H.C.W.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The COSMIN checklist is a standardized tool for assessing the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties. It contains 9 boxes, each dealing with one measurement property, with 5-18 items per box about design aspects and statistical methods. Our aim was to develop a

  5. Methodological quality of guidelines in gastroenterology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malheiro, Rui; de Monteiro-Soares, Matilde; Hassan, Cesare; Dinis-Ribeiro, Mário

    2014-06-01

    Clinical guidelines are a common feature in modern endoscopy practice and they are being produced faster than ever. However, their methodological quality is rarely assessed. This study evaluated the methodological quality of current clinical guidelines in the field of gastroenterology, with an emphasis on endoscopy. Practice guidelines published by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE), British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) were searched between September and October 2012 and evaluated using the AGREE II (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation) instrument (23 items, scores 1 - 7 for each item; higher scores mean better quality). A total of 100 guidelines were assessed. The mean number of items scoring 6 or 7 per guideline was 9.2 (out of 23 items). Overall, 99 % of guidelines failed to include the target population in the development process, and 96 % did not report facilitators and barriers to guideline application. In addition, 86 % did not include advice or tools, and 94 % did not present monitoring or auditing criteria. The global methodological quality of clinical guidelines in the field of gastroenterology is poor, particularly regarding involvement of the target population in the development of guidelines and in the provision of clear suggestions to practitioners. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  6. Quality scores for 32,000 genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Land, Miriam L.; Hyatt, Doug; Jun, Se-Ran

    2014-01-01

    Background More than 80% of the microbial genomes in GenBank are of ‘draft’ quality (12,553 draft vs. 2,679 finished, as of October, 2013). We have examined all the microbial DNA sequences available for complete, draft, and Sequence Read Archive genomes in GenBank as well as three other major...... public databases, and assigned quality scores for more than 30,000 prokaryotic genome sequences. Results Scores were assigned using four categories: the completeness of the assembly, the presence of full-length rRNA genes, tRNA composition and the presence of a set of 102 conserved genes in prokaryotes....... Most (~88%) of the genomes had quality scores of 0.8 or better and can be safely used for standard comparative genomics analysis. We compared genomes across factors that may influence the score. We found that although sequencing depth coverage of over 100x did not ensure a better score, sequencing read...

  7. Methodological quality of systematic reviews addressing femoroacetabular impingement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalczuk, Marcin; Adamich, John; Simunovic, Nicole; Farrokhyar, Forough; Ayeni, Olufemi R

    2015-09-01

    As the body of literature on femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) continues to grow, clinicians turn to systematic reviews to remain current with the best available evidence. The quality of systematic reviews in the FAI literature is currently unknown. The goal of this study was to assess the quality of the reporting of systematic reviews addressing FAI over the last 11 years (2003-2014) and to identify the specific methodological shortcomings and strengths. A search of the electronic databases, MEDLINE, EMBASE and PubMed, was performed to identify relevant systematic reviews. Methodological quality was assessed by two reviewers using the revised assessment of multiple systematic reviews (R-AMSTAR) scoring tool. An intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) was used to determine agreement between reviewers on R-AMSTAR quality scores. A total of 22 systematic reviews were assessed for methodological quality. The mean consensus R-AMSTAR score across all studies was 26.7 out of 40.0, indicating fair methodological quality. An ICC of 0.931, 95 % CI 0.843-0.971 indicated excellent agreement between reviewers during the scoring process. The systematic reviews addressing FAI are generally of fair methodological quality. Use of tools such as the R-AMSTAR score or PRISMA guidelines while designing future systematic reviews can assist in eliminating methodological shortcomings identified in this review. These shortcomings need to be kept in mind by clinicians when applying the current literature to their patient populations and making treatment decisions. Systematic reviews of highest methodological quality should be used by clinicians when possible to answer clinical questions.

  8. Systematic review of communication partner training in aphasia: methodological quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherney, Leora R; Simmons-Mackie, Nina; Raymer, Anastasia; Armstrong, Elizabeth; Holland, Audrey

    2013-10-01

    Twenty-three studies identified from a previous systematic review examining the effects of communication partner training on persons with aphasia and their communication partners were evaluated for methodological quality. Two reviewers rated the studies on defined methodological quality criteria relevant to each study design. There were 11 group studies, seven single-subject participant design studies, and five qualitative studies. Quality scores were derived for each study. The mean inter-rater reliability of scores for each study design ranged from 85-93%, with Cohen's Kappa indicating substantial agreement between raters. Methodological quality of research on communication partner training in aphasia was highly varied. Overall, group studies employed the least rigorous methodology as compared to single subject and qualitative research. Only two of 11 group studies complied with more than half of the quality criteria. No group studies reported therapist blinding and only one group study reported participant blinding. Across all types of studies, the criterion of treatment fidelity was most commonly omitted. Failure to explicitly report certain methodological quality criteria may account for low ratings. Using methodological rating scales specific to the type of study design may help improve the methodological quality of aphasia treatment studies, including those on communication partner training.

  9. Methodological quality of systematic reviews on influenza vaccination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remschmidt, Cornelius; Wichmann, Ole; Harder, Thomas

    2014-03-26

    There is a growing body of evidence on the risks and benefits of influenza vaccination in various target groups. Systematic reviews are of particular importance for policy decisions. However, their methodological quality can vary considerably. To investigate the methodological quality of systematic reviews on influenza vaccination (efficacy, effectiveness, safety) and to identify influencing factors. A systematic literature search on systematic reviews on influenza vaccination was performed, using MEDLINE, EMBASE and three additional databases (1990-2013). Review characteristics were extracted and the methodological quality of the reviews was evaluated using the assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) tool. U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test, chi-square test, and multivariable linear regression analysis were used to assess the influence of review characteristics on AMSTAR-score. Fourty-six systematic reviews fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Average methodological quality was high (median AMSTAR-score: 8), but variability was large (AMSTAR range: 0-11). Quality did not differ significantly according to vaccination target group. Cochrane reviews had higher methodological quality than non-Cochrane reviews (p=0.001). Detailed analysis showed that this was due to better study selection and data extraction, inclusion of unpublished studies, and better reporting of study characteristics (all p<0.05). In the adjusted analysis, no other factor, including industry sponsorship or journal impact factor had an influence on AMSTAR score. Systematic reviews on influenza vaccination showed large differences regarding their methodological quality. Reviews conducted by the Cochrane collaboration were of higher quality than others. When using systematic reviews to guide the development of vaccination recommendations, the methodological quality of a review in addition to its content should be considered. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Methodological Quality of Consensus Guidelines in Implant Dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faggion, Clovis Mariano; Apaza, Karol; Ariza-Fritas, Tania; Málaga, Lilian; Giannakopoulos, Nikolaos Nikitas; Alarcón, Marco Antonio

    2017-01-01

    Consensus guidelines are useful to improve clinical decision making. Therefore, the methodological evaluation of these guidelines is of paramount importance. Low quality information may guide to inadequate or harmful clinical decisions. To evaluate the methodological quality of consensus guidelines published in implant dentistry using a validated methodological instrument. The six implant dentistry journals with impact factors were scrutinised for consensus guidelines related to implant dentistry. Two assessors independently selected consensus guidelines, and four assessors independently evaluated their methodological quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument. Disagreements in the selection and evaluation of guidelines were resolved by consensus. First, the consensus guidelines were analysed alone. Then, systematic reviews conducted to support the guidelines were included in the analysis. Non-parametric statistics for dependent variables (Wilcoxon signed rank test) was used to compare both groups. Of 258 initially retrieved articles, 27 consensus guidelines were selected. Median scores in four domains (applicability, rigour of development, stakeholder involvement, and editorial independence), expressed as percentages of maximum possible domain scores, were below 50% (median, 26%, 30.70%, 41.70%, and 41.70%, respectively). The consensus guidelines and consensus guidelines + systematic reviews data sets could be compared for 19 guidelines, and the results showed significant improvements in all domain scores (p dentistry journals is needed. The findings of the present study may help researchers to better develop consensus guidelines in implant dentistry, which will improve the quality and trust of information needed to make proper clinical decisions.

  11. Scoring of nonmetric cranial traits: a methodological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    GUALDI-RUSSO, E.; TASCA, M. A.; BRASILI, P.

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to analyse the replicability of the scoring of discontinuous traits. This was assessed on a sample of 100 skulls from the Frassetto collection (Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale of Bologna University) analysed through intraobserver comparisons: the discontinuous traits were determined on the same skulls and by the same observer on 3 separate occasions. The scoring was also assessed through interobserver comparisons: 3 different observers performed an independent survey on the same skulls. The results show that there were no significant differences in the discontinuous trait frequencies between the 3 different scorings by the same observer, but there were sometimes significant differences between different observers. Caution should thus be taken in applying the frequencies of these traits to population research. After an indispensable control of material conditions (subject age included), consideration must be given to standardisation procedures between observers, otherwise this may be an additional source of variability in cranial discontinuous trait scoring. PMID:10634693

  12. Facilitating the Interpretation of English Language Proficiency Scores: Combining Scale Anchoring and Test Score Mapping Methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Donald; Schedl, Mary; Papageorgiou, Spiros

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop, for the benefit of both test takers and test score users, enhanced "TOEFL ITP"® test score reports that go beyond the simple numerical scores that are currently reported. To do so, we applied traditional scale anchoring (proficiency scaling) to item difficulty data in order to develop performance…

  13. Q methodology, risk training and quality management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, M; Hinks, M; Stowell-Smith, M; Mercer, D; Forster, J

    1999-01-01

    The results of a Q methodological study of professional understandings of the notion of risk in mental health services within the UK are discussed in relation to the relevance for staff training and quality assurance. The study attempted to access the diversity of understandings of risk issues amongst a multi-professional group of staff (n = 60) attending inter-agency risk training workshops in 1998. Q methodology is presented as both an appropriate means for such inquiry and as a novel experiential technique for training purposes. A tentative argument is advanced that the qualitative accounts generated by Q research could assist in systematic reviews of quality, complementing the singularly quantitative approaches typically represented in the audit process.

  14. Methodologic quality and relevance of references in pharmaceutical advertisements in a Canadian medical journal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lexchin, J; Holbrook, A

    1994-07-01

    To evaluate the methodologic quality and relevance of references in pharmaceutical advertisements in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Analytic study. All 114 references cited in the first 22 distinct pharmaceutical advertisements in volume 146 of CMAJ. Mean methodologic quality score (modified from the 6-point scale used to assess articles in the American College of Physicians' Journal Club) and mean relevance score (based on a new 5-point scale) for all references in each advertisement. Twenty of the 22 companies responded, sending 78 (90%) of the 87 references requested. The mean methodologic quality score was 58% (95% confidence limits [CL] 51% and 65%) and the mean relevance score 76% (95% CL 72% and 80%). The two mean scores were statistically lower than the acceptable score of 80% (p e., other than reports of clinical trials). Half of the advertisements had a methodologic quality score of less than 65%, but only five had a relevance score of less than 65%. Although the relevance of most of the references was within minimal acceptable limits, the methodologic quality was often unacceptable. Because advertisements are an important part of pharmaceutical marketing and education, we suggest that companies develop written standards for their advertisements and monitor their advertisements for adherence to these standards. We also suggest that the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board develop more stringent guidelines for advertising and that it enforce these guidelines in a consistent, rigorous fashion.

  15. dBBQs: dataBase of Bacterial Quality scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanchai, Visanu; Patumcharoenpol, Preecha; Nookaew, Intawat; Ussery, David

    2017-12-28

    It is well-known that genome sequencing technologies are becoming significantly cheaper and faster. As a result of this, the exponential growth in sequencing data in public databases allows us to explore ever growing large collections of genome sequences. However, it is less known that the majority of available sequenced genome sequences in public databases are not complete, drafts of varying qualities. We have calculated quality scores for around 100,000 bacterial genomes from all major genome repositories and put them in a fast and easy-to-use database. Prokaryotic genomic data from all sources were collected and combined to make a non-redundant set of bacterial genomes. The genome quality score for each was calculated by four different measurements: assembly quality, number of rRNA and tRNA genes, and the occurrence of conserved functional domains. The dataBase of Bacterial Quality scores (dBBQs) was designed to store and retrieve quality scores. It offers fast searching and download features which the result can be used for further analysis. In addition, the search results are shown in interactive JavaScript chart framework using DC.js. The analysis of quality scores across major public genome databases find that around 68% of the genomes are of acceptable quality for many uses. dBBQs (available at http://arc-gem.uams.edu/dbbqs ) provides genome quality scores for all available prokaryotic genome sequences with a user-friendly Web-interface. These scores can be used as cut-offs to get a high-quality set of genomes for testing bioinformatics tools or improving the analysis. Moreover, all data of the four measurements that were combined to make the quality score for each genome, which can potentially be used for further analysis. dBBQs will be updated regularly and is freely use for non-commercial purpose.

  16. A quality score for coronary artery tree extraction results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Qing; Broersen, Alexander; Kitslaar, Pieter H.; Lelieveldt, Boudewijn P. F.; Dijkstra, Jouke

    2018-02-01

    Coronary artery trees (CATs) are often extracted to aid the fully automatic analysis of coronary artery disease on coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) images. Automatically extracted CATs often miss some arteries or include wrong extractions which require manual corrections before performing successive steps. For analyzing a large number of datasets, a manual quality check of the extraction results is time-consuming. This paper presents a method to automatically calculate quality scores for extracted CATs in terms of clinical significance of the extracted arteries and the completeness of the extracted CAT. Both right dominant (RD) and left dominant (LD) anatomical statistical models are generated and exploited in developing the quality score. To automatically determine which model should be used, a dominance type detection method is also designed. Experiments are performed on the automatically extracted and manually refined CATs from 42 datasets to evaluate the proposed quality score. In 39 (92.9%) cases, the proposed method is able to measure the quality of the manually refined CATs with higher scores than the automatically extracted CATs. In a 100-point scale system, the average scores for automatically and manually refined CATs are 82.0 (+/-15.8) and 88.9 (+/-5.4) respectively. The proposed quality score will assist the automatic processing of the CAT extractions for large cohorts which contain both RD and LD cases. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a general quality score for an extracted CAT is presented.

  17. Urbanism & urban qualities New data and methodologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2009-01-01

    The interest in urban spaces and their qualities has become stronger in recent years. A substantial volume of projects aims to create attractive urban spaces reasons of Sustainability, Quality of Life and urban vitality. But who actually uses the urban spaces, which urban spaces are used? How do...... they use them? What characterizes the good urban space? And how and by who is it evaluated? How is a better co-operation between urban space researchers, decision makers and users established? Is it the right urban spaces which receive investments? How can research optimize the basis for decisions......?   Proceedings from the conference "Urbanism & urban qualities - new data & methodologies" held 24th of June 2009 at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen....

  18. Methodological quality and scientific impact of quantitative nursing education research over 18 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucha, Carolyn B; Schneider, Barbara St Pierre; Smyer, Tish; Kowalski, Susan; Stowers, Eva

    2011-01-01

    The methodological quality of nursing education research has not been rigorously studied. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the methodological quality and scientific impact of nursing education research reports. The methodological quality of 133 quantitative nursing education research articles published between July 2006 and December 2007 was evaluated using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI).The mean (+/- SD) MERSQI score was 9.8 +/- 2.2. It correlated (p nursing literature and those reported for the medical literature, coupled with the association with citation counts, suggest that the MERSQI is an appropriate instrument to evaluate the quality of nursing education research.

  19. Methodological Quality Assessment of Meta-analyses in Endodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattan, Sereen; Lee, Su-Min; Kohli, Meetu R; Setzer, Frank C; Karabucak, Bekir

    2018-01-01

    The objectives of this review were to assess the methodological quality of published meta-analyses related to endodontics using the assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR) tool and to provide a follow-up to previously published reviews. Three electronic databases were searched for eligible studies according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria: Embase via Ovid, The Cochrane Library, and Scopus. The electronic search was amended by a hand search of 6 dental journals (International Endodontic Journal; Journal of Endodontics; Australian Endodontic Journal; Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology; Endodontics and Dental Traumatology; and Journal of Dental Research). The searches were conducted to include articles published after July 2009, and the deadline for inclusion of the meta-analyses was November 30, 2016. The AMSTAR assessment tool was used to evaluate the methodological quality of all included studies. A total of 36 reports of meta-analyses were included. The overall quality of the meta-analyses reports was found to be medium, with an estimated mean overall AMSTAR score of 7.25 (95% confidence interval, 6.59-7.90). The most poorly assessed areas were providing an a priori design, the assessment of the status of publication, and publication bias. In recent publications in the field of endodontics, the overall quality of the reported meta-analyses is medium according to AMSTAR. Copyright © 2017 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Distal biceps brachii tendon repair: a systematic review of patient outcome determination using modified Coleman methodology score criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyland, John; Causey, Brandon; Wera, Jeff; Krupp, Ryan; Tate, David; Gupta, Amit

    2017-07-01

    This systematic literature review evaluated the methodological research design quality of studies that evaluated patient outcomes following distal biceps brachii tendon repair and developed evidence-based recommendations for future patient clinical outcomes research. Following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses criteria, and using "biceps brachii", "tendon", "repair" and "outcome assessment" search terms, the CINAHL, Academic Search Premier and MEDLINE databases were searched from January 1960-October 2015. The modified Coleman methodology score (MCMS) served as the primary outcome measure. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed for composite and component MCMS and for patient outcome assessment methodology use frequency. A total of 93 studies were evaluated. Overall MCMS was low (57.1 ± 14). Only 12 (12.9 %) had prospective cohort or randomized controlled trial designs. There was a moderate relationship between publication year and MCMS (r = 0.53, P research study methodological scores improved on average since 2008, generally low MCMS scores, retrospective designs, lack of eccentric elbow flexor or supinator strength testing, and poorly described surgical and rehabilitation descriptions remain commonplace. These findings decrease clinical study validity and generalizability. III.

  1. A Methodology for Quality Problems Diagnosis in SMEs

    OpenAIRE

    Humberto N. Teixeira; Isabel S. Lopes; Sérgio D. Sousa

    2012-01-01

    This article proposes a new methodology to be used by SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) to characterize their performance in quality, highlighting weaknesses and area for improvement. The methodology aims to identify the principal causes of quality problems and help to prioritize improvement initiatives. This is a self-assessment methodology that intends to be easy to implement by companies with low maturity level in quality. The methodology is organized in six different steps which include...

  2. Propensity score methodology for confounding control in health care utilization databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Patorno

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Propensity score (PS methodology is a common approach to control for confounding in nonexperimental studies of treatment effects using health care utilization databases. This methodology offers researchers many advantages compared with conventional multivariate models: it directly focuses on the determinants of treatment choice, facilitating the understanding of the clinical decision-making process by the researcher; it allows for graphical comparisons of the distribution of propensity scores and truncation of subjects without overlapping PS indicating a lack of equipoise; it allows transparent assessment of the confounder balance achieved by the PS at baseline; and it offers a straightforward approach to reduce the dimensionality of sometimes large arrays of potential confounders in utilization databases, directly addressing the “curse of dimensionality” in the context of rare events. This article provides an overview of the use of propensity score methodology for pharmacoepidemiologic research with large health care utilization databases, covering recent discussions on covariate selection, the role of automated techniques for addressing unmeasurable confounding via proxies, strategies to maximize clinical equipoise at baseline, and the potential of machine-learning algorithms for optimized propensity score estimation. The appendix discusses the available software packages for PS methodology. Propensity scores are a frequently used and versatile tool for transparent and comprehensive adjustment of confounding in pharmacoepidemiology with large health care databases.

  3. ITC Guidelines on Quality Control in Scoring, Test Analysis, and Reporting of Test Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allalouf, Avi

    2014-01-01

    The Quality Control (QC) Guidelines are intended to increase the efficiency, precision, and accuracy of the scoring, analysis, and reporting process of testing. The QC Guidelines focus on large-scale testing operations where multiple forms of tests are created for use on set dates. However, they may also be used for a wide variety of other testing…

  4. Air quality estimation by computational intelligence methodologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ćirić Ivan T.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The subject of this study is to compare different computational intelligence methodologies based on artificial neural networks used for forecasting an air quality parameter - the emission of CO2, in the city of Niš. Firstly, inputs of the CO2 emission estimator are analyzed and their measurement is explained. It is known that the traffic is the single largest emitter of CO2 in Europe. Therefore, a proper treatment of this component of pollution is very important for precise estimation of emission levels. With this in mind, measurements of traffic frequency and CO2 concentration were carried out at critical intersections in the city, as well as the monitoring of a vehicle direction at the crossroad. Finally, based on experimental data, different soft computing estimators were developed, such as feed forward neural network, recurrent neural network, and hybrid neuro-fuzzy estimator of CO2 emission levels. Test data for some characteristic cases presented at the end of the paper shows good agreement of developed estimator outputs with experimental data. Presented results are a true indicator of the implemented method usability. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III42008-2/2011: Evaluation of Energy Performances and br. TR35016/2011: Indoor Environment Quality of Educational Buildings in Serbia with Impact to Health and Research of MHD Flows around the Bodies, in the Tip Clearances and Channels and Application in the MHD Pumps Development

  5. dBBQs: dataBase of Bacterial Quality scores

    OpenAIRE

    Wanchai, Visanu; Patumcharoenpol, Preecha; Nookaew, Intawat; Ussery, David

    2017-01-01

    Background: It is well-known that genome sequencing technologies are becoming significantly cheaper and faster. As a result of this, the exponential growth in sequencing data in public databases allows us to explore ever growing large collections of genome sequences. However, it is less known that the majority of available sequenced genome sequences in public databases are not complete, drafts of varying qualities. We have calculated quality scores for around 100,000 bacterial genomes from al...

  6. Lossy compression of quality scores in genomic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cánovas, Rodrigo; Moffat, Alistair; Turpin, Andrew

    2014-08-01

    Next-generation sequencing technologies are revolutionizing medicine. Data from sequencing technologies are typically represented as a string of bases, an associated sequence of per-base quality scores and other metadata, and in aggregate can require a large amount of space. The quality scores show how accurate the bases are with respect to the sequencing process, that is, how confident the sequencer is of having called them correctly, and are the largest component in datasets in which they are retained. Previous research has examined how to store sequences of bases effectively; here we add to that knowledge by examining methods for compressing quality scores. The quality values originate in a continuous domain, and so if a fidelity criterion is introduced, it is possible to introduce flexibility in the way these values are represented, allowing lossy compression over the quality score data. We present existing compression options for quality score data, and then introduce two new lossy techniques. Experiments measuring the trade-off between compression ratio and information loss are reported, including quantifying the effect of lossy representations on a downstream application that carries out single nucleotide polymorphism and insert/deletion detection. The new methods are demonstrably superior to other techniques when assessed against the spectrum of possible trade-offs between storage required and fidelity of representation. An implementation of the methods described here is available at https://github.com/rcanovas/libCSAM. rcanovas@student.unimelb.edu.au Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Quality Assurance in Trichiasis Surgery: a methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchan, John C; Limburg, Hans; Burton, Matthew J

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Trachoma remains a significant cause of blindness in many parts of the world. The major route to blindness involves upper lid entropion leading to trachomatous trichiasis (TT) which promotes progressive corneal opacification. The provision of surgery to correct TT in the populations most severely affected is a major challenge for the global effort to eliminate Trachoma blindness by the year 2020. Most attention has been paid to increasing the quantity of TT surgery performed, and large numbers of non-doctor operators have been trained to this end. Surgical audit by those performing TT surgery is not a routine part of any national trachoma control programme, and no effective mechanism exists for identifying surgeons experiencing poor outcomes. We propose a methodology for surgical audit at the level of the individual surgeon based on Lot Quality Assurance. A set number of patients operated on previously for upper eyelid TT are examined to detect the recurrence of TT. The number of recurrent cases found will lead to categorisation of the TT surgeon to either “high recurrence” or “low recurrence” with reasonable confidence. The threshold of unacceptability can be set by individual programmes according to previous local studies of recurrence rates or those from similar settings. Identification of surgeons delivering unacceptably high levels of recurrent TT will guide managers on the need for remedial intervention such as re-training. PMID:20881027

  8. Quality assurance in trichiasis surgery: a methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchan, John C; Limburg, Hans; Burton, Matthew J

    2011-03-01

    Trachoma remains a significant cause of blindness in many parts of the world. The major route to blindness involves upper lid entropion leading to trachomatous trichiasis (TT), which promotes progressive corneal opacification. The provision of surgery to correct TT in the populations most severely affected is a major challenge for the global effort to eliminate trachoma blindness by the year 2020. Most attention has focused on increasing the quantity of TT surgery performed, and large numbers of non-doctor operators have been trained to this end. Surgical audit by those performing TT surgery is not a routine part of any national trachoma control programme, and no effective mechanism exists for identifying surgeons experiencing poor outcomes. The authors propose a methodology for surgical audit at the level of the individual surgeon based on Lot Quality Assurance. A set number of patients operated on previously for upper eyelid TT are examined to detect the recurrence of TT. The number of recurrent cases found will lead to categorisation of the TT surgeon to either 'high recurrence' or 'low recurrence' with reasonable confidence. The threshold of unacceptability can be set by individual programmes according to previous local studies of recurrence rates or those from similar settings. Identification of surgeons delivering unacceptably high levels of recurrent TT will guide managers on the need for remedial intervention such as retraining.

  9. The kidney allocation score: methodological problems, moral concerns and unintended consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hippen, B

    2009-07-01

    The growing disparity between the demand for and supply of kidneys for transplantation has generated interest in alternative systems of allocating kidneys from deceased donors. This personal viewpoint focuses attention on the Kidney Allocation Score (KAS) proposal promulgated by the UNOS/OPTN Kidney Committee. I identify several methodological and moral flaws in the proposed system, concluding that any iteration of the KAS proposal should be met with more skepticism than sanguinity.

  10. Further Simplification of the Simple Erosion Narrowing Score With Item Response Theory Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oude Voshaar, Martijn A H; Schenk, Olga; Ten Klooster, Peter M; Vonkeman, Harald E; Bernelot Moens, Hein J; Boers, Maarten; van de Laar, Mart A F J

    2016-08-01

    To further simplify the simple erosion narrowing score (SENS) by removing scored areas that contribute the least to its measurement precision according to analysis based on item response theory (IRT) and to compare the measurement performance of the simplified version to the original. Baseline and 18-month data of the Combinatietherapie Bij Reumatoide Artritis (COBRA) trial were modeled using longitudinal IRT methodology. Measurement precision was evaluated across different levels of structural damage. SENS was further simplified by omitting the least reliably scored areas. Discriminant validity of SENS and its simplification were studied by comparing their ability to differentiate between the COBRA and sulfasalazine arms. Responsiveness was studied by comparing standardized change scores between versions. SENS data showed good fit to the IRT model. Carpal and feet joints contributed the least statistical information to both erosion and joint space narrowing scores. Omitting the joints of the foot reduced measurement precision for the erosion score in cases with below-average levels of structural damage (relative efficiency compared with the original version ranged 35-59%). Omitting the carpal joints had minimal effect on precision (relative efficiency range 77-88%). Responsiveness of a simplified SENS without carpal joints closely approximated the original version (i.e., all Δ standardized change scores were ≤0.06). Discriminant validity was also similar between versions for both the erosion score (relative efficiency = 97%) and the SENS total score (relative efficiency = 84%). Our results show that the carpal joints may be omitted from the SENS without notable repercussion for its measurement performance. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

  11. The methodological quality of systematic reviews of animal studies in dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faggion, C M; Listl, S; Giannakopoulos, N N

    2012-05-01

    Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies are important for improving estimates of the effects of treatment and for guiding future clinical studies on humans. The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies in dentistry through using a validated checklist. A literature search was conducted independently and in duplicate in the PubMed and LILACS databases. References in selected systematic reviews were assessed to identify other studies not captured by the electronic searches. The methodological quality of studies was assessed independently and in duplicate by using the AMSTAR checklist; the quality was scored as low, moderate, or high. The reviewers were calibrated before the assessment and agreement between them was assessed using Cohen's Kappa statistic. Of 444 studies retrieved, 54 systematic reviews were selected after full-text assessment. Agreement between the reviewers was regarded as excellent. Only two studies were scored as high quality; 17 and 35 studies were scored as medium and low quality, respectively. There is room for improvement of the methodological quality of systematic reviews of animal studies in dentistry. Checklists, such as AMSTAR, can guide researchers in planning and executing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. For determining the need for additional investigations in animals and in order to provide good data for potential application in human, such reviews should be based on animal experiments performed according to sound methodological principles. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The effect of instructional methodology on high school students natural sciences standardized tests scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, P. E.

    Educators have recently come to consider inquiry based instruction as a more effective method of instruction than didactic instruction. Experience based learning theory suggests that student performance is linked to teaching method. However, research is limited on inquiry teaching and its effectiveness on preparing students to perform well on standardized tests. The purpose of the study to investigate whether one of these two teaching methodologies was more effective in increasing student performance on standardized science tests. The quasi experimental quantitative study was comprised of two stages. Stage 1 used a survey to identify teaching methods of a convenience sample of 57 teacher participants and determined level of inquiry used in instruction to place participants into instructional groups (the independent variable). Stage 2 used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to compare posttest scores on a standardized exam by teaching method. Additional analyses were conducted to examine the differences in science achievement by ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status by teaching methodology. Results demonstrated a statistically significant gain in test scores when taught using inquiry based instruction. Subpopulation analyses indicated all groups showed improved mean standardized test scores except African American students. The findings benefit teachers and students by presenting data supporting a method of content delivery that increases teacher efficacy and produces students with a greater cognition of science content that meets the school's mission and goals.

  13. The main aspects of methodology of quality management system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smirnova E.K.

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available this article describes the formation and development of quality management as an integrated system. The author considers the theory and methodology of quality management since the early XXth century to the present day and describes the main problems encountered in the process of quality management system, as well as the ways to overcome them.

  14. "Assessing the methodological quality of systematic reviews in radiation oncology: A systematic review".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Haroon; Muhammed, Taaha; Yu, Jennifer; Taguchi, Kelsi; Samargandi, Osama A; Howard, A Fuchsia; Lo, Andrea C; Olson, Robert; Goddard, Karen

    2017-10-01

    The objective of our study was to evaluate the methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in Radiation Oncology. A systematic literature search was conducted for all eligible systematic reviews and meta-analyses in Radiation Oncology from 1966 to 2015. Methodological characteristics were abstracted from all works that satisfied the inclusion criteria and quality was assessed using the critical appraisal tool, AMSTAR. Regression analyses were performed to determine factors associated with a higher score of quality. Following exclusion based on a priori criteria, 410 studies (157 systematic reviews and 253 meta-analyses) satisfied the inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses were found to be of fair to good quality while systematic reviews were found to be of less than fair quality. Factors associated with higher scores of quality in the multivariable analysis were including primary studies consisting of randomized control trials, performing a meta-analysis, and applying a recommended guideline related to establishing a systematic review protocol and/or reporting. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses may introduce a high risk of bias if applied to inform decision-making based on AMSTAR. We recommend that decision-makers in Radiation Oncology scrutinize the methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses prior to assessing their utility to inform evidence-based medicine and researchers adhere to methodological standards outlined in validated guidelines when embarking on a systematic review. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Methodology and Supporting Toolset Advancing Embedded Systems Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berger, Michael Stübert; Soler, José; Brewka, Lukasz Jerzy

    2013-01-01

    Software quality is of primary importance in the development of embedded systems that are often used in safety-critical applications. Moreover, as the life cycle of embedded products becomes increasingly tighter, productivity and quality are simultaneously required and closely interrelated towards...... delivering competitive products. In this context, the MODUS (Methodology and supporting toolset advancing embedded systems quality) project aims to provide a pragmatic and viable solution that will allow SMEs to substantially improve their positioning in the embedded-systems development market. This paper...... will describe the MODUS project with focus on the technical methodologies that will be developed advancing embedded system quality....

  16. Systematic Review of the Methodology Quality in Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang LI

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective Lung cancer is the most common malignancy and screening can decrease the mortality. High quality screening guideline is necessary and important for effective work. Our study is to review and evaluate the basic characteristics and methodology quality of the current global lung cancer screening guidelines so as to provide useful information for domestic study in the future. Methods Electronic searches were done in English and Chinese databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Embase, CNKI, CBM, Wanfang, and some cancer official websites. Articles were screened according to the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria by two researchers. The quality of guidelines was assessed by AGREE II. Results At last, a total of 11 guidelines with methodology were included. The guidelines were issued mainly by USA (81%. Canada and China developed one, respectively. As for quality, the average score in the “Scale and objective” of all guidelines was 80, the average score in the “Participants” was 52, the average score in the “rigorism” was 50, the average score in the “clarity” was 76, the average score in the “application” was 43 and the average score in the “independence” was 59. The highest average score was found in 2013 and 2015. Canada guideline had higher quality in six domains. 7 guidelines were evaluated as A level. Conclusion The number of clinical guidelines showed an increasing trend. Most guidelines were issued by developed countries with heavy burden. Multi-country contribution to one guideline was another trend. Evidence-based methodology was accepted globally in the guideline development.

  17. Dynamic benchmarking methodology for Quality Function Deployment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raharjo, H.; Brombacher, A.C.; Chai, K.H.; Bergman, B.

    2008-01-01

    A competitive advantage, generally, can be gained if a firm produces a product that not only addresses what the customer values most, but also performs better than its competitors in terms of quality, cost, and timeliness. However, these two factors, namely, the customer needs and competitorspsila

  18. Methodologies for defining quality of life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glicken, J. [Ecological Planning and Toxicology, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engi, D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-10-10

    Quality of life as a concept has been used in many ways in the public policy arena. It can be used in summative evaluations to assess the impacts of policies or programs. Alternatively, it can be applied to formative evaluations to provide input to the formation of new policies. In short, it provides the context for the understanding needed to evaluate the results of choices that have been made in the public policy arena, or the potential of choices yet to be made. In either case, the public policy question revolves around the positive or negative impact the choice will have on quality of life, and the magnitude of that impact. This discussion will develop a conceptual framework that proposes that an assessment of quality of life is based on a comparison of expectations with experience. The framework defines four basic components from which these expectations arise: natural conditions, social conditions, the body, and the mind. Each one of these components is generally described, and associated with a general policy or rhetorical category which gives it its policy vocabulary--environmental quality, economic well-being, human health, and self-fulfillment.

  19. Reporting and methodologic quality of Cochrane Neonatal review group systematic reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Faleh Khalid

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Cochrane Neonatal Review Group (CNRG has achieved a lot with limited resources in producing high quality systematic reviews to assist clinicians in evidence-based decision-making. A formal assessment of published CNRG systematic reviews has not been undertaken; we sought to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality of systematic reviews (both methodologic and reporting quality published in CNRG. Methods We selected a random sample of published CNRG systematic reviews. Items of the QUOROM statement were utilized to assess quality of reporting, while items and total scores of the Oxman-Guyatt Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ were used to assess methodologic quality. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed quality. A Student t-test was used to compare quality scores pre- and post-publication of the QUOROM statement. Results Sixty-one systematic reviews were assessed. Overall, the included reviews had good quality with minor flaws based on OQAQ total scores (mean, 4.5 [0.9]; 95% CI, 4.27–4.77. However, room for improvement was noted in some areas, such as the title, abstract reporting, a priori plan for heterogeneity assessment and how to handle heterogeneity in case it exists, and assessment of publication bias. In addition, reporting of agreement among reviewers, documentation of trials flow, and discussion of possible biases were addressed in the review process. Reviews published post the QUOROM statement had a significantly higher quality scores. Conclusion The systematic reviews published in the CNRG are generally of good quality with minor flaws. However, efforts should be made to improve the quality of reports. Readers must continue to assess the quality of published reports on an individual basis prior to implementing the recommendations.

  20. A Methodology for Anatomic Ultrasound Image Diagnostic Quality Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hemmsen, Martin Christian; Lange, Theis; Brandt, Andreas Hjelm

    2017-01-01

    are presented. Earlier uses of the methodology has shown that it ensures validity of the assessment, as it separates the influences between developer, investigator, and assessor once a research protocol has been established. This separation reduces confounding influences on the result from the developer......This paper discusses methods for assessment of ultrasound image quality based on our experiences with evaluating new methods for anatomic imaging. It presents a methodology to ensure a fair assessment between competing imaging methods using clinically relevant evaluations. The methodology...... to properly reveal the clinical value. The paper exemplifies the methodology using recent studies of Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming tissue harmonic imaging....

  1. High Framingham risk score decreases quality of life in adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Yosaputra

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Cardiovascular disease (CVD risk factors, such as diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, and obesity tend to occur together in the general population. Increasing prevalence of multiple CVD risk factors has been related to increased risk of death from coronary heart disease and stroke. Studies have suggested that people with several risk factors of CVD may have impaired health-related quality of life. The objective of this study was to assess the association of CVD risk factors with quality of life (QOL among adults aged 40 to 65 years. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 220 subjects 40 - 65 years of age at a health center. The CVD risk factors were assessed using the Framingham risk score that is the standard instrument for assessment of the risk of a first cardiac event. The risk factors assessed were age, smoking, blood pressure, total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. QOL was assessed by means of the WHOQOL-BREF instrument that had been prevalidated. The results of the study showed that 28.2% of subjects were smokers, 56.4% had stage 1 hypertension, 42.8% high total cholesterol and 13.6% low HDL cholesterol. The high risk group amounted to 45.5% and 42.3% constitued an intermediate risk group. High CVD risk scores were significantly associated with a low QOL for all domains (physical, psychological, social and environment (p=0.000. Preventing or reducing the multiple CVD risk factors to improve QOL is necessary among adults.

  2. Measuring the Quality of Publications : New Methodology and Case Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijnen, J.P.C.; van Groenendaal, W.J.H.

    2000-01-01

    n practice, it is important to evaluate the quality of research, in order to make decisions on tenure, funding, and so on. This article develops a methodology using citations to measure the quality of journals, proceedings, and book publishers. (Citations are also used by the Science and Social

  3. Examining the Predictive Validity of GRE Scores on Doctoral Education: Students' Success and Methodology Choices in the Dissertation Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockinson-Szapkiw, Amanda J.; Bray, Oliver R., Jr.; Spaulding, Lucinda S.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines how GRE scores can be used to better understand Education doctoral candidates' methodology choices for the dissertation as well as their persistence behaviors. Candidates' of one online doctoral education program were examined. Results of a MANOVA suggested that there is no difference in GRE scores based on doctoral candidates'…

  4. The relationship between return on investment and quality of study methodology in workplace health promotion programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Siyan; Sanderson, Kristy; Venn, Alison J; Blizzard, C Leigh; Palmer, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    To determine the relationship between return on investment (ROI) and quality of study methodology in workplace health promotion programs. Data were obtained through a systematic literature search of National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Health Technology Database (HTA), Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Registry, EconLit, PubMed, Embase, Wiley, and Scopus. Included were articles written in English or German reporting cost(s) and benefit(s) and single or multicomponent health promotion programs on working adults. Return-to-work and workplace injury prevention studies were excluded. Methodological quality was graded using British Medical Journal Economic Evaluation Working Party checklist. Economic outcomes were presented as ROI. ROI was calculated as ROI = (benefits - costs of program)/costs of program. Results were weighted by study size and combined using meta-analysis techniques. Sensitivity analysis was performed using two additional methodological quality checklists. The influences of quality score and important study characteristics on ROI were explored. Fifty-one studies (61 intervention arms) published between 1984 and 2012 included 261,901 participants and 122,242 controls from nine industry types across 12 countries. Methodological quality scores were highly correlated between checklists (r = .84-.93). Methodological quality improved over time. Overall weighted ROI [mean ± standard deviation (confidence interval)] was 1.38 ± 1.97 (1.38-1.39), which indicated a 138% return on investment. When accounting for methodological quality, an inverse relationship to ROI was found. High-quality studies (n = 18) had a smaller mean ROI, 0.26 ± 1.74 (.23-.30), compared to moderate (n = 16) 0.90 ± 1.25 (.90-.91) and low-quality (n = 27) 2.32 ± 2.14 (2.30-2.33) studies. Randomized control trials (RCTs) (n = 12) exhibited negative ROI, -0.22 ± 2.41(-.27 to -.16). Financial returns become

  5. Quantum-Mechanics Methodologies in Drug Discovery: Applications of Docking and Scoring in Lead Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Alejandro; Rodriguez-Granillo, Agustina; Lim, Victoria T

    2017-01-01

    The development and application of quantum mechanics (QM) methodologies in computer- aided drug design have flourished in the last 10 years. Despite the natural advantage of QM methods to predict binding affinities with a higher level of theory than those methods based on molecular mechanics (MM), there are only a few examples where diverse sets of protein-ligand targets have been evaluated simultaneously. In this work, we review recent advances in QM docking and scoring for those cases in which a systematic analysis has been performed. In addition, we introduce and validate a simplified QM/MM expression to compute protein-ligand binding energies. Overall, QMbased scoring functions are generally better to predict ligand affinities than those based on classical mechanics. However, the agreement between experimental activities and calculated binding energies is highly dependent on the specific chemical series considered. The advantage of more accurate QM methods is evident in cases where charge transfer and polarization effects are important, for example when metals are involved in the binding process or when dispersion forces play a significant role as in the case of hydrophobic or stacking interactions. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Survival analysis of colorectal cancer patients with tumor recurrence using global score test methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zain, Zakiyah, E-mail: zac@uum.edu.my; Ahmad, Yuhaniz, E-mail: yuhaniz@uum.edu.my [School of Quantitative Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM Sintok 06010, Kedah (Malaysia); Azwan, Zairul, E-mail: zairulazwan@gmail.com, E-mail: farhanaraduan@gmail.com, E-mail: drisagap@yahoo.com; Raduan, Farhana, E-mail: zairulazwan@gmail.com, E-mail: farhanaraduan@gmail.com, E-mail: drisagap@yahoo.com; Sagap, Ismail, E-mail: zairulazwan@gmail.com, E-mail: farhanaraduan@gmail.com, E-mail: drisagap@yahoo.com [Surgery Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, 56000 Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Aziz, Nazrina, E-mail: nazrina@uum.edu.my

    2014-12-04

    Colorectal cancer is the third and the second most common cancer worldwide in men and women respectively, and the second in Malaysia for both genders. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are among the options available for treatment of patients with colorectal cancer. In clinical trials, the main purpose is often to compare efficacy between experimental and control treatments. Treatment comparisons often involve several responses or endpoints, and this situation complicates the analysis. In the case of colorectal cancer, sets of responses concerned with survival times include: times from tumor removal until the first, the second and the third tumor recurrences, and time to death. For a patient, the time to recurrence is correlated to the overall survival. In this study, global score test methodology is used in combining the univariate score statistics for comparing treatments with respect to each survival endpoint into a single statistic. The data of tumor recurrence and overall survival of colorectal cancer patients are taken from a Malaysian hospital. The results are found to be similar to those computed using the established Wei, Lin and Weissfeld method. Key factors such as ethnic, gender, age and stage at diagnose are also reported.

  7. A new multimodal interactive way of subjective scoring of 3D video quality of experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taewan; Lee, Kwanghyun; Lee, Sanghoon; Bovik, Alan C.

    2014-03-01

    People that watch today's 3D visual programs, such as 3D cinema, 3D TV and 3D games, experience wide and dynamically varying ranges of 3D visual immersion and 3D quality of experience (QoE). It is necessary to be able to deploy reliable methodologies that measure each viewers subjective experience. We propose a new methodology that we call Multimodal Interactive Continuous Scoring of Quality (MICSQ). MICSQ is composed of a device interaction process between the 3D display and a separate device (PC, tablet, etc.) used as an assessment tool, and a human interaction process between the subject(s) and the device. The scoring process is multimodal, using aural and tactile cues to help engage and focus the subject(s) on their tasks. Moreover, the wireless device interaction process makes it possible for multiple subjects to assess 3D QoE simultaneously in a large space such as a movie theater, and at di®erent visual angles and distances.

  8. Methodology of quality improvement projects for the Texas Medicare population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendergrass, P W; Abel, R L; Bing, M; Vaughn, R; McCauley, C

    1998-07-01

    The Texas Medical Foundation, the quality improvement organization for the state of Texas, develops local quality improvement projects for the Medicare population. These projects are developed as part of the Health Care Quality Improvement Program undertaken by the Health Care Financing Administration. The goal of a local quality improvement project is to collaborate with providers to identify and reduce the incidence of unintentional variations in the delivery of care that negatively impact outcomes. Two factors are critical to the success of a quality improvement project. First, as opposed to peer review that is based on implicit criteria, quality improvement must be based on explicit criteria. These criteria represent key steps in the delivery of care that have been shown to improve outcomes for a specific disease. Second, quality improvement must be performed in partnership with the health care community. As such, the health care community must play an integral role in the design and evaluation of a quality improvement project and in the design and implementation of the resulting quality improvement plan. Specifically, this article provides a historical perspective for the transition from peer review to quality improvement. It discusses key steps used in developing and implementing local quality improvement projects including topic selection, quality indicator development, collaborator recruitment, and measurement of performance/improvement. Two Texas Medical Foundation projects are described to highlight the current methodology and to illustrate the impact of quality improvement projects.

  9. A quality evaluation methodology of health web-pages for non-professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currò, Vincenzo; Buonuomo, Paola Sabrina; Onesimo, Roberta; de Rose, Paola; Vituzzi, Andrea; di Tanna, Gian Luca; D'Atri, Alessandro

    2004-06-01

    The proposal of an evaluation methodology for determining the quality of healthcare web sites for the dissemination of medical information to non-professionals. Three (macro) factors are considered for the quality evaluation: medical contents, accountability of the authors, and usability of the web site. Starting from two results in the literature the problem of whether or not to introduce a weighting function has been investigated. This methodology has been validated on a specialized information content, i.e., sore throats, due to the large interest such a topic enjoys with target users. The World Wide Web was accessed using a meta-search system merging several search engines. A statistical analysis was made to compare the proposed methodology with the obtained ranks of the sample web pages. The statistical analysis confirms that the variables examined (per item and sub factor) show substantially similar ranks and are capable of contributing to the evaluation of the main quality macro factors. A comparison between the aggregation functions in the proposed methodology (non-weighted averages) and the weighting functions, derived from the literature, allowed us to verify the suitability of the method. The proposed methodology suggests a simple approach which can quickly award an overall quality score for medical web sites oriented to non-professionals.

  10. Development of Management Methodology for Engineering Production Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorlenko, O.; Miroshnikov, V.; Borbatc, N.

    2016-04-01

    The authors of the paper propose four directions of the methodology developing the quality management of engineering products that implement the requirements of new international standard ISO 9001:2015: the analysis of arrangement context taking into account stakeholders, the use of risk management, management of in-house knowledge, assessment of the enterprise activity according to the criteria of effectiveness

  11. Using Quality Tools and Methodologies to Improve a Hospital's Quality Position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Daniel; Wicks, Angela M; Visich, John K

    2017-01-01

    The authors identify the quality tools and methodologies most frequently used by quality-positioned hospitals versus nonquality hospitals. Northeastern U.S. hospitals in both groups received a brief, 12-question survey. The authors found that 93.75% of the quality hospitals and 81.25% of the nonquality hospitals used some form of process improvement methodologies. However, there were significant differences between the groups regarding the impact of quality improvement initiatives on patients. The findings indicate that in quality hospitals the use of quality improvement initiatives had a significantly greater positive impact on patient satisfaction and patient outcomes when compared to nonquality hospitals.

  12. Organ Donation European Quality System: ODEQUS project methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manyalich, M; Guasch, X; Gomez, M P; Páez, G; Teixeira, L

    2013-01-01

    Differences in the number of organ donors among hospitals cannot be explained only by the number of intensive care unit beds used or neurologic patients treated. The figures obtained are influenced by the organizational structure of the donation process and how efficient it is. The Organ Donation European Quality System (ODEQUS) is a 3-year project (from October 2010 to September 2013) co-financed by the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC20091108) which aims to define a methodology to evaluate organ procurement performance at the hospital level. ODEQUS's specific objectives are to identify quality criteria and to develop quality indicators in three types of organ donation (after brain death, after cardiac death, and living donation). Those tools will be useful for hospitals' self-assessment as well as for developing an international auditing model. A consortium has been established involving 14 associated partners from Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, as well as five collaborating partners from Greece, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia, and Turkey. The project has been established in three steps: 1) Design of a survey about the use of quality tools in a wide sample of European hospitals; 2) Development of quality criteria and quality indicators by the project experts. The main fields considered have been organizational structures, clinical procedures, and outcomes; and 3) Elaboration of an evaluation system to test the quality indicators in 11 European hospitals. Two types of training have been designed and performed: one concerns the development of quality criteria and quality indicators, whereas another is focused on how to use evaluation tools. Following this methodology, the project has so far identified 131 quality criteria and developed 31 quality indicators. Currently, the quality indicators are being tested in 11 selected hospitals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  13. ASSESSMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE: PRESENT AND FUTURE METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Benítez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The growing importance of quality of life in diverse domains, such as health, school performance and social participation, has led to the development of new conceptualisations and assessments of the construct. This diversity of perspectives brings about many benefits, but it also creates an obstacle for the formulation of a single unifying definition of the construct and, therefore, an agreed instrument or assessment framework. The aim of this study is to discuss the current methodological challenges in the measurement of quality of life. Firstly, we provide a brief description of the construct as defined in various areas, then we examine the new methodological developments and different applications. We also present an overview of the different possibilities for future developments in defining and measuring quality of life in national and international studies.

  14. Methodological quality of systematic reviews analyzing the use of laser therapy in restorative dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmos, Janaina; Gerbi, Marleny E M M; Braz, Rodivan; Andrade, Emanuel S S; Vasconcelos, Belmiro C E; Bessa-Nogueira, Ricardo V

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify systematic reviews (SRs) that compared laser with other dental restorative procedures and to evaluate their methodological quality. A search strategy was developed and implemented for MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, LILACS, and the Brazilian Dentistry Bibliography (1966- 2007). Inclusion criteria were: the article had to be an SR (+/- meta-analysis); primary focus was the use of laser in restorative dentistry; published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German. Two investigators independently selected and evaluated the SRs. The overview quality assessment questionnaire (OQAQ) was used to evaluate methodological quality, and the results were averaged. There were 145 references identified, of which seven were SRs that met the inclusion criteria (kappa=0.81). Of the SRs, 71.4% appraised lasers in dental caries diagnosis. The mean overall OQAQ score was 4.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4- 6.5]. Of the SRs, 57.1% had major flaws, scoring methodological quality is low; therefore, clinicians should critically appraise them prior to considering their recommendations to guide patient care.

  15. A Quality-Driven Methodology for Information Systems Integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iyad Zikra

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Information systems integration is an essential instrument for organizations to attain advantage in today’s growing and fast changing business and technology landscapes. Integration solutions generate added value by combining the functionality and services of heterogeneous and diverse systems. Existing integration environments tend to rely heavily on technical, platform-dependent skills. Consequently, the solutions that they enable are not optimally aligned with the envisioned business goals of the organization. Furthermore, the gap between the goals and the solutions complicates the task of evaluating the quality of integration solutions. To address these challenges, we propose a quality-driven, model-driven methodology for designing and developing integration solutions. The methodology spans organizational and systems design details, providing a holistic view of the integration solution and its underlying business goals. A multi-view meta-model provides the basis for the integration design. Quality factors that affect various aspects of the integration solution guide and inform the progress of the methodology. An example business case is presented to demonstrate the application of the methodology.

  16. Author-paper affiliation network architecture influences the methodological quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of psoriasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luis Sanz-Cabanillas

    Full Text Available Moderate-to-severe psoriasis is associated with significant comorbidity, an impaired quality of life, and increased medical costs, including those associated with treatments. Systematic reviews (SRs and meta-analyses (MAs of randomized clinical trials are considered two of the best approaches to the summarization of high-quality evidence. However, methodological bias can reduce the validity of conclusions from these types of studies and subsequently impair the quality of decision making. As co-authorship is among the most well-documented forms of research collaboration, the present study aimed to explore whether authors' collaboration methods might influence the methodological quality of SRs and MAs of psoriasis. Methodological quality was assessed by two raters who extracted information from full articles. After calculating total and per-item Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR scores, reviews were classified as low (0-4, medium (5-8, or high (9-11 quality. Article metadata and journal-related bibliometric indices were also obtained. A total of 741 authors from 520 different institutions and 32 countries published 220 reviews that were classified as high (17.2%, moderate (55%, or low (27.7% methodological quality. The high methodological quality subnetwork was larger but had a lower connection density than the low and moderate methodological quality subnetworks; specifically, the former contained relatively fewer nodes (authors and reviews, reviews by authors, and collaborators per author. Furthermore, the high methodological quality subnetwork was highly compartmentalized, with several modules representing few poorly interconnected communities. In conclusion, structural differences in author-paper affiliation network may influence the methodological quality of SRs and MAs on psoriasis. As the author-paper affiliation network structure affects study quality in this research field, authors who maintain an appropriate balance

  17. A methodology model for quality management in a general hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Z; Naveh, E

    1997-01-01

    A reappraisal is made of the relevance of industrial modes of quality management to the issues of medical care. Analysis of the nature of medical care, which differentiates it from the supplier-client relationships of industry, presents the main intrinsic characteristics, which create problems in application of the industrial quality management approaches to medical care. Several examples are the complexity of the relationship between the medical action and the result obtained, the client's nonacceptance of economic profitability as a value in his medical care, and customer satisfaction biased by variable standards of knowledge. The real problems unique to hospitals are addressed, and a methodology model for their quality management is offered. Included is a sample of indicator vectors, measurements of quality care, cost of medical care, quality of service, and human resources. These are based on the trilogy of planning quality, quality control, and improving quality. The conclusions confirm the inadequacy of industrial quality management approaches for medical institutions and recommend investment in formulation of appropriate concepts.

  18. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN MULTIRESPONSE EXPERIMENTS THROUGH ROBUST DESIGN METHODOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Shilpa

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Robust design methodology aims at reducing the variability in the product performance in the presence of noise factors. Experiments involving simultaneous optimization of more than one quality characteristic are known as multiresponse experiments which are used in the development and improvement of industrial processes and products. In this paper, robust design methodology is applied to optimize the process parameters during a particular operation of rotary driving shaft manufacturing process. The three important quality characteristics of the shaft considered here are of type Nominal-the-best, Smaller-the-better and Fraction defective. Simultaneous optimization of these responses is carried out by identifying the control parameters and conducting the experimentation using L9 orthogonal array.

  19. Methodology for Multileaf Collimator Quality Assurance in clinical conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz M, R. M.; Rodriguez Z, M.; Juarez D, A.; Romero R, R.

    2013-01-01

    Multileaf Collimators (MLCs) have become an important technological advance as part of clinical linear accelerators (linacs) for radiotherapy. Treatment planning and delivery were substantially modified after these devices. However, it was needed to develop Quality Assurance (QA) methodologies related to the performance of these developments. The most common methods for QA of MLC are made in basic conditions that hardly cover all possible difficulties in clinical practice. Diaz et. el. developed a methodology based upon volumetric detectors bidimensional arrays that can be extended to more demanding situations. In this work, the Auril methodology of Diaz et. al. was implemented to the irradiation with the linac gantry in horizontal position. A mathematical procedure was developed to ease the dosimetric centering of the device with the Auril centering tool. System calibration was made as in the typical Auril methodology. Patterns with leaf misplacements in known positions were irradiated. the method allowed the detection of leafs' misplacements with a minimum number of false positives. We concluded that Auril methodology can be applied in clinical conditions. (Author)

  20. The ABT methodology employment for VET of quality auditors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liviu Moldovan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents some achievements of the project entitled “Disseminating Open and Innovative Tools and Services for Vocational Education and Training in Quality Assurance” (acronym Do-IT financed by European Commission. The recent developments and results obtained during pilot testing of new pedagogical models and services, in Do-IT project, targeting engineering education in Romania are presented. This include the activity Based Training methodology (ABT for quality management system audit course according to ISO 19011 and ISO 9001 and evaluation of theoretical achievements with Student Response System (SRS.

  1. Methodology for stereoscopic motion-picture quality assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voronov, Alexander; Vatolin, Dmitriy; Sumin, Denis; Napadovsky, Vyacheslav; Borisov, Alexey

    2013-03-01

    Creating and processing stereoscopic video imposes additional quality requirements related to view synchronization. In this work we propose a set of algorithms for detecting typical stereoscopic-video problems, which appear owing to imprecise setup of capture equipment or incorrect postprocessing. We developed a methodology for analyzing the quality of S3D motion pictures and for revealing their most problematic scenes. We then processed 10 modern stereo films, including Avatar, Resident Evil: Afterlife and Hugo, and analyzed changes in S3D-film quality over the years. This work presents real examples of common artifacts (color and sharpness mismatch, vertical disparity and excessive horizontal disparity) in the motion pictures we processed, as well as possible solutions for each problem. Our results enable improved quality assessment during the filming and postproduction stages.

  2. Measurement of Quality of Life I. A Methodological Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the widespread acceptance of quality of life (QOL as the ideal guideline in healthcare and clinical research, serious conceptual and methodological problems continue to plague this area. In an attempt to remedy this situation, we propose seven criteria that a quality-of-life concept must meet to provide a sound basis for investigation by questionnaire. The seven criteria or desiderata are: (1 an explicit definition of quality of life; (2 a coherent philosophy of human life from which the definition is derived; (3 a theory that operationalizes the philosophy by specifying unambiguous, nonoverlapping, and jointly exhaustive questionnaire items; (4 response alternatives that permit a fraction-scale interpretation; (5 technical checks of reproducibility; (6 meaningfulness to investigators, respondents, and users; and (7 an overall aesthetic appeal of the questionnaire. These criteria have guided the design of a validated 5-item generic, global quality-of-life questionnaire (QOL5, and a validated 317-item generic, global quality-of-life questionnaire (SEQOL, administered to a well-documented birth cohort of 7,400 Danes born in 1959�1961, as well as to a reference sample of 2,500 Danes. Presented in outline, the underlying integrative quality-of-life (IQOL theory is a meta-theory. To illustrate the seven criteria at work, we show the extent to which they are satisfied by one of the eight component theories. Next, two sample results of our investigation are presented: satisfaction with one's sex life has the expected covariation with one's quality of life, and so does mother's smoking during pregnancy, albeit to a much smaller extent. It is concluded that the methodological framework presented has proved helpful in designing a questionnaire that is capable of yielding acceptably valid and reliable measurements of global and generic quality of life.

  3. Abstract analysis method facilitates filtering low-methodological quality and high-bias risk systematic reviews on psoriasis interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-García, Francisco; Ruano, Juan; Aguilar-Luque, Macarena; Alcalde-Mellado, Patricia; Gay-Mimbrera, Jesús; Hernández-Romero, José Luis; Sanz-Cabanillas, Juan Luis; Maestre-López, Beatriz; González-Padilla, Marcelino; Carmona-Fernández, Pedro J; García-Nieto, Antonio Vélez; Isla-Tejera, Beatriz

    2017-12-29

    Article summaries' information and structure may influence researchers/clinicians' decisions to conduct deeper full-text analyses. Specifically, abstracts of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MA) should provide structured summaries for quick assessment. This study explored a method for determining the methodological quality and bias risk of full-text reviews using abstract information alone. Systematic literature searches for SRs and/or MA about psoriasis were undertaken on MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane database. For each review, quality, abstract-reporting completeness, full-text methodological quality, and bias risk were evaluated using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses for abstracts (PRISMA-A), Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR), and ROBIS tools, respectively. Article-, author-, and journal-derived metadata were systematically extracted from eligible studies using a piloted template, and explanatory variables concerning abstract-reporting quality were assessed using univariate and multivariate-regression models. Two classification models concerning SRs' methodological quality and bias risk were developed based on per-item and total PRISMA-A scores and decision-tree algorithms. This work was supported, in part, by project ICI1400136 (JR). No funding was received from any pharmaceutical company. This study analysed 139 SRs on psoriasis interventions. On average, they featured 56.7% of PRISMA-A items. The mean total PRISMA-A score was significantly higher for high-methodological-quality SRs than for moderate- and low-methodological-quality reviews. SRs with low-bias risk showed higher total PRISMA-A values than reviews with high-bias risk. In the final model, only 'authors per review > 6' (OR: 1.098; 95%CI: 1.012-1.194), 'academic source of funding' (OR: 3.630; 95%CI: 1.788-7.542), and 'PRISMA-endorsed journal' (OR: 4.370; 95%CI: 1.785-10.98) predicted PRISMA-A variability. Reviews with a

  4. Relationships between abstract features and methodological quality explained variations of social media activity derived from systematic reviews about psoriasis interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruano, J; Aguilar-Luque, M; Isla-Tejera, B; Alcalde-Mellado, P; Gay-Mimbrera, J; Hernandez-Romero, José Luis; Sanz-Cabanillas, J L; Maestre-López, B; González-Padilla, M; Carmona-Fernández, P J; Gómez-García, F; García-Nieto, A Vélez

    2018-05-24

    The aim of this study was to describe the relationship among abstract structure, readability, and completeness, and how these features may influence social media activity and bibliometric results, considering systematic reviews (SRs) about interventions in psoriasis classified by methodological quality. Systematic literature searches about psoriasis interventions were undertaken on relevant databases. For each review, methodological quality was evaluated using the Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) tool. Abstract extension, structure, readability, and quality and completeness of reporting were analyzed. Social media activity, which consider Twitter and Facebook mention counts, as well as Mendeley readers and Google scholar citations were obtained for each article. Analyses were conducted to describe any potential influence of abstract characteristics on review's social media diffusion. We classified 139 intervention SRs as displaying high/moderate/low methodological quality. We observed that abstract readability of SRs has been maintained high for last 20 years, although there are some differences based on their methodological quality. Free-format abstracts were most sensitive to the increase of text readability as compared with more structured abstracts (IMRAD or 8-headings), yielding opposite effects on their quality and completeness depending on the methodological quality: a worsening in low quality reviews and an improvement in those of high-quality. Both readability indices and PRISMA for Abstract total scores showed an inverse relationship with social media activity and bibliometric results in high methodological quality reviews but not in those of lower quality. Our results suggest that increasing abstract readability must be specially considered when writing free-format summaries of high-quality reviews, because this fact correlates with an improvement of their completeness and quality, and this may help to achieve broader

  5. Methodology of quality control for brachytherapy {sup 125}I seeds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moura, Eduardo S.; Zeituni, Carlos A.; Manzoli, Jose E.; Rostelato, Maria Elisa C.M. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: esmoura@ipen.br

    2007-07-01

    This paper presents the methodology of quality control of {sup 125}I seeds used for brachytherapy. The {sup 125}I seeds are millimeter titanium capsules widely used in permanent implants of prostate cancer, allowing a high dose within the tumour and a low dose on the surrounding tissues, with very low harm to the other tissues. Besides, with this procedure, the patients have a low impotence rate and a small incidence of urinary incontinence. To meet the medical standards, an efficient quality control is necessary, showing values with the minimum uncertainness possible, concerning the seeds dimensions and their respective activities. The medical needles are used to insert the seeds inside the prostate. The needles used in brachytherapy have an internal diameter of 1.0 mm, so it is necessary {sup 125}I seeds with an external maximum diameter of 0.85 mm. For the seeds and the spacer positioning on the planning sheet, the seeds must have a length between 4.5 and 5.0 mm. The activities must not vary more than 5% in each batch of {sup 125}I seeds. For this methodology, we used two ionization chamber detectors and one caliper. In this paper, the methodology using one control batch with 75 seeds manufactured by GE Health care Ltd is presented. (author)

  6. ReQON: a Bioconductor package for recalibrating quality scores from next-generation sequencing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cabanski Christopher R

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Next-generation sequencing technologies have become important tools for genome-wide studies. However, the quality scores that are assigned to each base have been shown to be inaccurate. If the quality scores are used in downstream analyses, these inaccuracies can have a significant impact on the results. Results Here we present ReQON, a tool that recalibrates the base quality scores from an input BAM file of aligned sequencing data using logistic regression. ReQON also generates diagnostic plots showing the effectiveness of the recalibration. We show that ReQON produces quality scores that are both more accurate, in the sense that they more closely correspond to the probability of a sequencing error, and do a better job of discriminating between sequencing errors and non-errors than the original quality scores. We also compare ReQON to other available recalibration tools and show that ReQON is less biased and performs favorably in terms of quality score accuracy. Conclusion ReQON is an open source software package, written in R and available through Bioconductor, for recalibrating base quality scores for next-generation sequencing data. ReQON produces a new BAM file with more accurate quality scores, which can improve the results of downstream analysis, and produces several diagnostic plots showing the effectiveness of the recalibration.

  7. Optimizing Scoring and Sampling Methods for Assessing Built Neighborhood Environment Quality in Residential Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adu-Brimpong, Joel; Coffey, Nathan; Ayers, Colby; Berrigan, David; Yingling, Leah R.; Thomas, Samantha; Mitchell, Valerie; Ahuja, Chaarushi; Rivers, Joshua; Hartz, Jacob; Powell-Wiley, Tiffany M.

    2017-01-01

    Optimization of existing measurement tools is necessary to explore links between aspects of the neighborhood built environment and health behaviors or outcomes. We evaluate a scoring method for virtual neighborhood audits utilizing the Active Neighborhood Checklist (the Checklist), a neighborhood audit measure, and assess street segment representativeness in low-income neighborhoods. Eighty-two home neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Cardiovascular Health/Needs Assessment (NCT01927783) participants were audited using Google Street View imagery and the Checklist (five sections with 89 total questions). Twelve street segments per home address were assessed for (1) Land-Use Type; (2) Public Transportation Availability; (3) Street Characteristics; (4) Environment Quality and (5) Sidewalks/Walking/Biking features. Checklist items were scored 0–2 points/question. A combinations algorithm was developed to assess street segments’ representativeness. Spearman correlations were calculated between built environment quality scores and Walk Score®, a validated neighborhood walkability measure. Street segment quality scores ranged 10–47 (Mean = 29.4 ± 6.9) and overall neighborhood quality scores, 172–475 (Mean = 352.3 ± 63.6). Walk scores® ranged 0–91 (Mean = 46.7 ± 26.3). Street segment combinations’ correlation coefficients ranged 0.75–1.0. Significant positive correlations were found between overall neighborhood quality scores, four of the five Checklist subsection scores, and Walk Scores® (r = 0.62, p health behaviors and outcomes. PMID:28282878

  8. Which clinical variable influences health-related quality of life the most after spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage? Hunt and Hess scale, Fisher score, World Federation of Neurosurgeons score, Brussels coma score, and Glasgow coma score compared.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapapa, Thomas; Tjahjadi, Martin; König, Ralph; Wirtz, Christian Rainer; Woischneck, Dieter

    2013-12-01

    To determine the strength of the correlation between the Hunt and Hess scale, Fisher score, Brussels coma score, World Federation of Neurosurgeons score, and Glasgow coma score and health-related quality of life. Evaluable questionnaires from 236 patients (5.6 years [± standard deviation, 2.854 years] on average after hemorrhage) were included in the analysis. Quality of life was documented using the MOS-36 item short form health survey. Because of the ordinal nature of the variables, Kendall tau was used for calculation. Significance was established as P ≤ 0.05. Weak and very weak correlations were found in general (r ≤ 0.28). The strongest correlations were found between the Glasgow coma score and quality of life (r = 0.236, P = 0.0001). In particular, the "best verbal response" achieved the strongest correlations in the comparison, at r = 0.28/P = 0.0001. The Fisher score showed very weak correlations (r = -0.148/P = 0.012). The Brussels coma score (r = -0.216/P = 0.0001), Hunt and Hess scale (r = -0.197/P = 0.0001), and the World Federation of Neurosurgeons score (r = -0.185/P = 0.0001) revealed stronger correlations, especially in terms of the physical aspects of quality of life. The Glasgow coma scale revealed the strongest, and the Fisher score showed the weakest correlations. Thus the Fisher score, as an indicator of the severity of a hemorrhage, has little significance in terms of health-related quality of life. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Comparison of methodologic quality and study/report characteristics between quantitative clinical nursing and nursing education research articles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Barbara St Pierre; Nicholas, Jennifer; Kurrus, Jeffrey E

    2013-01-01

    To compare the methodologic quality and study/report characteristics between quantitative clinical nursing and nursing education research articles. The methodologic quality of quantitative nursing education research needs to advance to a higher level. Clinical research can provide guidance for nursing education to reach this level. One hundred quantitative clinical research articles from-high impact journals published in 2007 and 37 education research articles from high impact journals published in 2006 to 2007 were chosen for analysis. Clinical articles had significantly higher quality scores than education articles in three domains: number of institutions studied, type of data, and outcomes. The findings indicate three ways in which nursing education researchers can strengthen the methodologic quality of their quantitative research. With this approach, greater funding may be secured for advancing the science of nursing education.

  10. Diet Quality Scores of Australian Adults Who Have Completed the Healthy Eating Quiz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Rebecca L; Rollo, Megan E; Schumacher, Tracy; Collins, Clare E

    2017-08-15

    Higher scores obtained using diet quality and variety indices are indicators of more optimal food and nutrient intakes and lower chronic disease risk. The aim of this paper is to describe the overall diet quality and variety in a sample of Australian adults who completed an online diet quality self-assessment tool, the Healthy Eating Quiz. The Healthy Eating Quiz takes approximately five minutes to complete online and computes user responses into a total diet quality score (out of a maximum of 73 points) and then categorizes them into the following groups: 'needs work' (Healthy eating quiz scores were higher in those aged 45-75 years compared to 16-44 years ( p Healthy Eating Quiz data indicates that individuals receiving feedback on how to improve their score can improve their diet quality, there is a need for further nutrition promotion interventions in Australian adults.

  11. Have Nursing Home Compare quality measure scores changed over time in response to competition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Nicholas G; Engberg, John; Liu, Darren

    2007-06-01

    Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on 15 Quality Measures (QMs) on the Nursing Home Compare (NHC) website. It is assumed that nursing homes are able to make improvements on these QMs, and in doing so they will attract more residents. In this investigation, we examine changes in QM scores, and whether competition and/or excess demand have influenced these change scores over a period of 1 year. Data come from NHC and the On-line Survey Certification And Recording (OSCAR) system. QM change scores are calculated using values from January 2003 to January 2004. A series of regression analyses are used to examine the association of competition and excess demand on QM scores. Eight QMs show an average decrease in scores (ie, better quality) and six QMs show an average increase in scores (ie, worse quality). However, for 13 of the 14 QMs these average changes averaged less than 1%. The regression analyses show an association between higher competition and improving QM scores and an association between lower occupancy and improving QM scores. As would be predicted based on the market-driven mechanism underlying quality improvements using report cards, we show that it is in the most competitive markets and those with the lowest average occupancy rates that improvements in the QM scores are more likely.

  12. Quality control of CT units - methodology of performance I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prlic, I.; Radalj, Z.

    1996-01-01

    Increasing use of x-ray computed tomography systems (CT scanners) in the diagnostic requires an efficient means of evaluating the performance of them. Therefore, this paper presents the way to measure (Quality Control procedure-Q/C) and define the CT scanner performance through a special phantom which is based on the recommendation of the American association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). The performance parameters measurable with the phantom represent the capability, so periodical evaluation of the parameters enable the users to recognize the stability of the CT scanner no matter on the manufacturer, model or software option of the scanner. There are five important performance parameters which are to be measured: Noise, Contrast scale, Nominal tomographic section thickness, High and Low contrast resolution (MTF). The sixth parameter is, of course the dose per scan and slice which gives the patient dose for the certain diagnostic procedure. The last but not the least parameter is the final image quality which is given through the image processing device connected to the scanner. This is the final medical information needed for the good medical practice according to the Quality Assurance (Q/A) procedures in diagnostic radiology. We have to assure the results of the performance evaluation without environmental influences (the measurements are to be made under the certain conditions according Q/A). This paper will give no detailed methodology recipe but will show on the one example; the system noise measurements and linearity; the need and relevant results of the measurements.1 The rest of the methodology is to be published. (author)

  13. Investigation Of Infrared Drying Behaviour Of Spinach Leaves Using ANN Methodology And Dried Product Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarimeseli Ayse

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Effects of infrared power output and sample mass on drying behaviour, colour parameters, ascorbic acid degradation, rehydration characteristics and some sensory scores of spinach leaves were investigated. Within both of the range of the infrared power outputs, 300–500 W, and sample amounts, 15–60 g, moisture content of the leaves was reduced from 6.0 to 0.1±(0.01 kg water/kg dry base value. It was recorded that drying times of the spinach leaves varied between 3.5–10 min for constant sample amount, and 4–16.5 min for constant power output. Experimental drying data obtained were successfully investigated by using artificial neural network methodology. Some changes were recorded in the quality parameters of the dried leaves, and acceptable sensory scores for the dried leaves were observed in all of the experimental conditions.

  14. Methodological quality of systematic reviews in subfertility: a comparison of two different approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivor Popovich

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Systematic reviews are used widely to guide health care decisions. Several tools have been created to assess systematic review quality. The measurement tool for assessing the methodological quality of systematic reviews known as the AMSTAR tool applies a yes/no score to eleven relevant domains of review methodology. This tool has been reworked so that each domain is scored based on a four point scale, producing R-AMSTAR. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We aimed to compare the AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR tools in assessing systematic reviews in the field of assisted reproduction for subfertility. All published systematic reviews on assisted reproductive technology, with the latest search for studies taking place from 2007-2011, were considered. Reviews that contained no included studies or considered diagnostic outcomes were excluded. Thirty each of Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews were randomly selected from a search of relevant databases. Both tools were then applied to all sixty reviews. The results were converted to percentage scores and all reviews graded and ranked based on this. AMSTAR produced a much wider variation in percentage scores and achieved higher inter-rater reliability than R-AMSTAR according to kappa statistics. The average rating for Cochrane reviews was consistent between the two tools (88.3% for R-AMSTAR versus 83.6% for AMSTAR but inconsistent for non-Cochrane reviews (63.9% R-AMSTAR vs. 38.5% AMSTAR. In comparing the rankings generated between the two tools Cochrane reviews changed an average of 4.2 places, compared to 2.9 for non-Cochrane. CONCLUSION: R-AMSTAR provided greater guidance in the assessment of domains and produced quantitative results. However, there were many problems with the construction of its criteria and AMSTAR was much easier to apply consistently. We recommend that AMSTAR incorporates the findings of this study and produces additional guidance for its application in order to improve its reliability and

  15. Optimizing Scoring and Sampling Methods for Assessing Built Neighborhood Environment Quality in Residential Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Adu-Brimpong

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Optimization of existing measurement tools is necessary to explore links between aspects of the neighborhood built environment and health behaviors or outcomes. We evaluate a scoring method for virtual neighborhood audits utilizing the Active Neighborhood Checklist (the Checklist, a neighborhood audit measure, and assess street segment representativeness in low-income neighborhoods. Eighty-two home neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Cardiovascular Health/Needs Assessment (NCT01927783 participants were audited using Google Street View imagery and the Checklist (five sections with 89 total questions. Twelve street segments per home address were assessed for (1 Land-Use Type; (2 Public Transportation Availability; (3 Street Characteristics; (4 Environment Quality and (5 Sidewalks/Walking/Biking features. Checklist items were scored 0–2 points/question. A combinations algorithm was developed to assess street segments’ representativeness. Spearman correlations were calculated between built environment quality scores and Walk Score®, a validated neighborhood walkability measure. Street segment quality scores ranged 10–47 (Mean = 29.4 ± 6.9 and overall neighborhood quality scores, 172–475 (Mean = 352.3 ± 63.6. Walk scores® ranged 0–91 (Mean = 46.7 ± 26.3. Street segment combinations’ correlation coefficients ranged 0.75–1.0. Significant positive correlations were found between overall neighborhood quality scores, four of the five Checklist subsection scores, and Walk Scores® (r = 0.62, p < 0.001. This scoring method adequately captures neighborhood features in low-income, residential areas and may aid in delineating impact of specific built environment features on health behaviors and outcomes.

  16. Comparison of methodological quality rating of systematic reviews on neuropathic pain using AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosenovic, Svjetlana; Jelicic Kadic, Antonia; Vucic, Katarina; Markovina, Nikolina; Pieper, Dawid; Puljak, Livia

    2018-05-08

    Systematic reviews (SRs) in the field of neuropathic pain (NeuP) are increasingly important for decision-making. However, methodological flaws in SRs can reduce the validity of conclusions. Hence, it is important to assess the methodological quality of NeuP SRs critically. Additionally, it remains unclear which assessment tool should be used. We studied the methodological quality of SRs published in the field of NeuP and compared two assessment tools. We systematically searched 5 electronic databases to identify SRs of randomized controlled trials of interventions for NeuP available up to March 2015. Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of the studies using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and the revised AMSTAR (R-AMSTAR) tools. The scores were converted to percentiles and ranked into 4 grades to allow comparison between the two checklists. Gwet's AC1 coefficient was used for interrater reliability assessment. The 97 included SRs had a wide range of methodological quality scores (AMSTAR median (IQR): 6 (5-8) vs. R-AMSTAR median (IQR): 30 (26-35)). The overall agreement score between the 2 raters was 0.62 (95% CI 0.39-0.86) for AMSTAR and 0.62 (95% CI 0.53-0.70) for R-AMSTAR. The 31 Cochrane systematic reviews (CSRs) were consistently ranked higher than the 66 non-Cochrane systematic reviews (NCSRs). The analysis of individual domains showed the best compliance in a comprehensive literature search (item 3) on both checklists. The results for the domain that was the least compliant differed: conflict of interest (item 11) was the item most poorly reported on AMSTAR vs. publication bias assessment (item 10) on R-AMSTAR. A high positive correlation between the total AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR scores for all SRs, as well as for CSRs and NCSRs, was observed. The methodological quality of analyzed SRs in the field of NeuP was not optimal, and CSRs had a higher quality than NCSRs. Both AMSTAR and R-AMSTAR tools produced comparable

  17. New scoring methodology improves the sensitivity of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Nishant; Beretvas, S Natasha; Pascual, Belen; Masdeu, Joseph C; Markey, Mia K

    2015-11-12

    As currently used, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) has low sensitivity for measuring Alzheimer's disease progression in clinical trials. A major reason behind the low sensitivity is its sub-optimal scoring methodology, which can be improved to obtain better sensitivity. Using item response theory, we developed a new scoring methodology (ADAS-CogIRT) for the ADAS-Cog, which addresses several major limitations of the current scoring methodology. The sensitivity of the ADAS-CogIRT methodology was evaluated using clinical trial simulations as well as a negative clinical trial, which had shown an evidence of a treatment effect. The ADAS-Cog was found to measure impairment in three cognitive domains of memory, language, and praxis. The ADAS-CogIRT methodology required significantly fewer patients and shorter trial durations as compared to the current scoring methodology when both were evaluated in simulated clinical trials. When validated on data from a real clinical trial, the ADAS-CogIRT methodology had higher sensitivity than the current scoring methodology in detecting the treatment effect. The proposed scoring methodology significantly improves the sensitivity of the ADAS-Cog in measuring progression of cognitive impairment in clinical trials focused in the mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease stage. This provides a boost to the efficiency of clinical trials requiring fewer patients and shorter durations for investigating disease-modifying treatments.

  18. Effect of mandibular advancement device on sleep bruxism score and sleep quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solanki, Nehal; Singh, Balendra Pratap; Chand, Pooran; Siddharth, Ramashankar; Arya, Deeksha; Kumar, Lakshya; Tripathi, Suryakant; Jivanani, Hemant; Dubey, Abhishek

    2017-01-01

    The use of mandibular advancement devices (MADs) in the treatment of sleep bruxism is gaining widespread importance. However, the effects of MADs on sleep bruxism scores, sleep quality, and occlusal force are not clear. The purpose of this clinical study was to analyze the effect of MADs on sleep bruxism scores, sleep quality, and occlusal force. This uncontrolled before and after study enrolled 30 participants with sleep bruxism. Outcomes assessed were sleep quality, sleep bruxism scores (sleep bruxism bursts and sleep bruxism episodes/hour), and occlusal force before and after 15 and 30 days of using a MAD. Sleep bruxism scores were assessed by ambulatory polysomnography and sleep quality by using the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI). Occlusal force was recorded by using a digital gnathodynamometer in the first molar region on both sides. Statistical analysis was done by 1-factor repeated measures ANOVA (α=.05). Statistically significant reductions in sleep bruxism bursts/h, sleep bruxism episodes/h, and PSQI scores were found after 15 and 30 days of using a MAD (Pbruxism scores, sleep quality, and reduction in occlusal force in sleep bruxism participants after using MADs. Copyright © 2016 Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. A glance at quality score: implication for de novo transcriptome reconstruction of Illumina reads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Kimbung Mbandi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Downstream analyses of short-reads from next-generation sequencing platforms are often preceded by a pre-processing step that removes uncalled and wrongly called bases. Standard approaches rely on their associated base quality scores to retain the read or a portion of it when the score is above a predefined threshold. It is difficult to differentiate sequencing error from biological variation without a reference using quality scores. The effects of quality score based trimming have not been systematically studied in de novo transcriptome assembly. Using RNA-Seq data produced from Illumina, we teased out the effects of quality score base filtering or trimming on de novo transcriptome reconstruction. We showed that assemblies produced from reads subjected to different quality score thresholds contain truncated and missing transfrags when compared to those from untrimmed reads. Our data supports the fact that de novo assembling of untrimmed data is challenging for de Bruijn graph assemblers. However, our results indicates that comparing the assemblies from untrimmed and trimmed read subsets can suggest appropriate filtering parameters and enable selection of the optimum de novo transcriptome assembly in non-model organisms.

  20. [What is the methodological quality of articles on therapeutic procedures published in Cirugía Española?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manterola, Carlos; Busquets, Juli; Pascual, Marta; Grande, Luis

    2006-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the methodological quality of articles on therapeutic procedures published in Cirugía Española and to study its association with the publication year, center, and subject-matter. A bibliometric study that included all articles on therapeutic procedures published in Cirugía Española between 2001 and 2004 was performed. All kinds of clinical designs were considered, excluding editorials, review articles, letters to editor, and experimental studies. The variables analyzed were: year of publication, center, design, and methodological quality. Methodological quality was determined by a valid and reliable scale. Descriptive statistics (calculation of means, standard deviation and medians) and analytical statistics (Pearson's chi2, nonparametric, ANOVA and Bonferroni tests) were used. A total of 244 articles were studied (197 case series [81%], 28 cohort studies [12%], 17 clinical trials [7%], 1 cross sectional study and 1 case-control study [0.8%]). The studies were performed mainly in Catalonia and Murcia (22% and 16%, respectively). The most frequent subject areas were soft tissue and hepatobiliopancreatic surgery (23% and 19%, respectively). The mean and median of the methodological quality score calculated for the entire series was 10.2 +/- 3.9 points and 9.5 points, respectively. Methodological quality significantly increased by publication year (p < 0.001). An association between methodological quality and subject area was observed but no association was detected with the center performing the study. The methodological quality of articles on therapeutic procedures published in Cirugía Española between 2001 and 2004 is low. However, a statistically significant trend toward improvement was observed.

  1. First quality score for referral letters in gastroenterology—a validation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskeland, Sigrun Losada; Brunborg, Cathrine; Seip, Birgitte; Wiencke, Kristine; Hovde, Øistein; Owen, Tanja; Skogestad, Erik; Huppertz-Hauss, Gert; Halvorsen, Fred-Arne; Garborg, Kjetil; Aabakken, Lars; de Lange, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Objective To create and validate an objective and reliable score to assess referral quality in gastroenterology. Design An observational multicentre study. Setting and participants 25 gastroenterologists participated in selecting variables for a Thirty Point Score (TPS) for quality assessment of referrals to gastroenterology specialist healthcare for 9 common indications. From May to September 2014, 7 hospitals from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority participated in collecting and scoring 327 referrals to a gastroenterologist. Main outcome measure Correlation between the TPS and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for referral quality. Results The 327 referrals had an average TPS of 13.2 (range 1–25) and an average VAS of 4.7 (range 0.2–9.5). The reliability of the score was excellent, with an intra-rater intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.87 and inter-rater ICC of 0.91. The overall correlation between the TPS and the VAS was moderate (r=0.42), and ranged from fair to substantial for the various indications. Mean agreement was good (ICC=0.47, 95% CI (0.34 to 0.57)), ranging from poor to good. Conclusions The TPS is reliable, objective and shows good agreement with the subjective VAS. The score may be a useful tool for assessing referral quality in gastroenterology, particularly important when evaluating the effect of interventions to improve referral quality. PMID:27855107

  2. Research on quality assurance classification methodology for domestic AP1000 nuclear power projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bai Jinhua; Jiang Huijie; Li Jingyan

    2012-01-01

    To meet the quality assurance classification requirements of domestic nuclear safety codes and standards, this paper analyzes the quality assurance classification methodology of domestic AP1000 nuclear power projects at present, and proposes the quality assurance classification methodology for subsequent AP1000 nuclear power projects. (authors)

  3. Highlighting ethical decisions underlying the scoring of animal welfare in the Welfare Quality® scheme

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Veissier, I.; Jensen, Karsten Klint; Botreau, R.

    2011-01-01

    dimension of scoring and labelling does not mean that we should reject them, but it does mean that we need to make the normative and ethical background explicit. The Welfare Quality® scoring system is used as a case study in order to highlight the role of underlying value-based decisions. In this scoring......, but the rules governing the assignment of an animal unit to a category take into account what had been observed on European farms. The scientists behind Welfare Quality® are keen to make the value-based choices underlying assessments of animal welfare transparent. This is essential to allow stakeholder groups......All systems of scoring animal units (groups, farms, slaughter plants, etc.) according to the level of the animals’ welfare are based inevitably on normative decisions. Similarly, all methods of labelling, in terms of acceptability, are based on choices reflecting ethical values. The evaluative...

  4. Methodological review of the quality of reach out and read: does it "work"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager Pelatti, Christina; Pentimonti, Jill M; Justice, Laura M

    2014-04-01

    A considerable percentage of American children and adults fail to learn adequate literacy skills and read below a third grade level. Shared book reading is perhaps the single most important activity to prepare young children for success in reading. The primary objective of this manuscript was to critically review the methodological quality of Read Out and Read (ROR), a clinically based literacy program/intervention that teaches parents strategies to incorporate while sharing books with children as a method of preventing reading difficulties and academic struggles. A PubMed search was conducted. Articles that met three criteria were considered. First, the study must be clinically based and include parent contact with a pediatrician. Second, parental counseling ("anticipatory guidance") about the importance of parent-child book reading must be included. Third, only experimental or quasi-experimental studies were included; no additional criteria were used. Published articles from any year and peer-reviewed journal were considered. Study quality was determined using a modified version of the Downs and Black (1998) checklist assessing four categories: (1) Reporting, (2) External Validity, (3) Internal Validity-Bias, and (4) Internal Validity-Confounding. We were also interested in whether quality differed based on study design, children's age, sample size, and study outcome. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. The overall quality of evidence was variable across all studies; Reporting and External Validity categories were relatively strong while methodological concerns were found in the area of internal validity. Quality scores differed on the four study characteristics. Implications related to clinical practice and future studies are discussed.

  5. Ossification score is a better indicator of maturity related changes in eating quality than animal age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonny, S P F; Pethick, D W; Legrand, I; Wierzbicki, J; Allen, P; Farmer, L J; Polkinghorne, R J; Hocquette, J-F; Gardner, G E

    2016-04-01

    Ossification score and animal age are both used as proxies for maturity-related collagen crosslinking and consequently decreases in beef tenderness. Ossification score is strongly influenced by the hormonal status of the animal and may therefore better reflect physiological maturity and consequently eating quality. As part of a broader cross-European study, local consumers scored 18 different muscle types cooked in three ways from 482 carcasses with ages ranging from 590 to 6135 days and ossification scores ranging from 110 to 590. The data were studied across three different maturity ranges; the complete range of maturities, a lesser range and a more mature range. The lesser maturity group consisted of carcasses having either an ossification score of 200 or less or an age of 987 days or less with the remainder in the greater maturity group. The three different maturity ranges were analysed separately with a linear mixed effects model. Across all the data, and for the greater maturity group, animal age had a greater magnitude of effect on eating quality than ossification score. This is likely due to a loss of sensitivity in mature carcasses where ossification approached and even reached the maximum value. In contrast, age had no relationship with eating quality for the lesser maturity group, leaving ossification score as the more appropriate measure. Therefore ossification score is more appropriate for most commercial beef carcasses, however it is inadequate for carcasses with greater maturity such as cull cows. Both measures may therefore be required in models to predict eating quality over populations with a wide range in maturity.

  6. Interpreting Quality of Life after Brain Injury Scores: Cross-Walk with the Short Form-36.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Lindsay; Marsden-Loftus, Isaac; Koskinen, Sanna; Bakx, Wilbert; Bullinger, Monika; Formisano, Rita; Maas, Andrew; Neugebauer, Edmund; Powell, Jane; Sarajuuri, Jaana; Sasse, Nadine; von Steinbuechel, Nicole; von Wild, Klaus; Truelle, Jean-Luc

    2017-01-01

    The Quality of Life after Brain Injury (QOLIBRI) instruments are traumatic brain injury (TBI)-specific assessments of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), with established validity and reliability. The purpose of the study is to help improve the interpretability of the two QOLIBRI summary scores (the QOLIBRI Total score and the QOLBRI Overall Scale [OS] score). An analysis was conducted of 761 patients with TBI who took part in the QOLIBRI validation studies. A cross-walk between QOLIBRI scores and the SF-36 Mental Component Summary norm-based scoring system was performed using geometric mean regression analysis. The exercise supports a previous suggestion that QOLIBRI Total scores GOSE), as a measure of global function, are presented in the form of means and standard deviations that allow comparison with other studies, and data on age and sex are presented for the QOLIBRI-OS. While bearing in mind the potential imprecision of the comparison, the findings provide a framework for evaluating QOLIBRI summary scores in relation to generic HRQoL that improves their interpretability.

  7. Applying Statistical Process Quality Control Methodology to Educational Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Carol Joyce

    A subset of Statistical Process Control (SPC) methodology known as Control Charting is introduced. SPC methodology is a collection of graphical and inferential statistics techniques used to study the progress of phenomena over time. The types of control charts covered are the null X (mean), R (Range), X (individual observations), MR (moving…

  8. Data from frequency-volume charts versus symptom scores and quality of life score in men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Venrooij, GEPM; Eckhardt, MD; Gisolf, KWH; Boon, TA

    Objective: The aim is to study the relations between reported data on frequency-volume charts and the American Urological Association (AUA) symptom scores and quality of life score. Methods: Males with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), were consecutively

  9. Economic evaluations of occupational health interventions from a corporate perspective - A systematic review of methodological quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uegaki, K.; Bruijne, M.C. de; Lambeek, L.; Anema, J.R.; Beek, A.J. van der; Mechelen, W. van; Tulder, M.W. van

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Using a standardized quality criteria list, we appraised the methodological quality of economic evaluations of occupational safety and health (OSH) interventions conducted from a corporate perspective. Methods: The primary literature search was conducted in Medline and Embase.

  10. Plasma ascorbic acid, a priori diet quality score, and incident hypertension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijsse, Brian; Jacobs, D.R.; Steffen, L.M.; Kromhout, Daan; Gross, M.D.

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin C may reduce risk of hypertension, either in itself or by marking a healthy diet pattern. We assessed whether plasma ascorbic acid and the a priori diet quality score relate to incident hypertension and whether they explain each other's predictive abilities. Data were from 2884 black and

  11. Reliability and Validity of SERVQUAL Scores Used To Evaluate Perceptions of Library Service Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Bruce; Cook, Colleen

    Research libraries are increasingly supplementing collection counts with perceptions of service quality as indices of status and productivity. The present study was undertaken to explore the reliability and validity of scores from the SERVQUAL measurement protocol (A. Parasuraman and others, 1991), which has previously been used in this type of…

  12. Quality Evaluation Scores are no more Reliable than Gestalt in Evaluating the Quality of Emergency Medicine Blogs: A METRIQ Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoma, Brent; Sebok-Syer, Stefanie S; Colmers-Gray, Isabelle; Sherbino, Jonathan; Ankel, Felix; Trueger, N Seth; Grock, Andrew; Siemens, Marshall; Paddock, Michael; Purdy, Eve; Kenneth Milne, William; Chan, Teresa M

    2018-01-30

    Construct: We investigated the quality of emergency medicine (EM) blogs as educational resources. Online medical education resources such as blogs are increasingly used by EM trainees and clinicians. However, quality evaluations of these resources using gestalt are unreliable. We investigated the reliability of two previously derived quality evaluation instruments for blogs. Sixty English-language EM websites that published clinically oriented blog posts between January 1 and February 24, 2016, were identified. A random number generator selected 10 websites, and the 2 most recent clinically oriented blog posts from each site were evaluated using gestalt, the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) score, and the Medical Education Translational Resources: Impact and Quality (METRIQ-8) score, by a sample of medical students, EM residents, and EM attendings. Each rater evaluated all 20 blog posts with gestalt and 15 of the 20 blog posts with the ALiEM AIR and METRIQ-8 scores. Pearson's correlations were calculated between the average scores for each metric. Single-measure intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) evaluated the reliability of each instrument. Our study included 121 medical students, 88 EM residents, and 100 EM attendings who completed ratings. The average gestalt rating of each blog post correlated strongly with the average scores for ALiEM AIR (r = .94) and METRIQ-8 (r = .91). Single-measure ICCs were fair for gestalt (0.37, IQR 0.25-0.56), ALiEM AIR (0.41, IQR 0.29-0.60) and METRIQ-8 (0.40, IQR 0.28-0.59). The average scores of each blog post correlated strongly with gestalt ratings. However, neither ALiEM AIR nor METRIQ-8 showed higher reliability than gestalt. Improved reliability may be possible through rater training and instrument refinement.

  13. First quality score for referral letters in gastroenterology-a validation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskeland, Sigrun Losada; Brunborg, Cathrine; Seip, Birgitte; Wiencke, Kristine; Hovde, Øistein; Owen, Tanja; Skogestad, Erik; Huppertz-Hauss, Gert; Halvorsen, Fred-Arne; Garborg, Kjetil; Aabakken, Lars; de Lange, Thomas

    2016-10-08

    To create and validate an objective and reliable score to assess referral quality in gastroenterology. An observational multicentre study. 25 gastroenterologists participated in selecting variables for a Thirty Point Score (TPS) for quality assessment of referrals to gastroenterology specialist healthcare for 9 common indications. From May to September 2014, 7 hospitals from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority participated in collecting and scoring 327 referrals to a gastroenterologist. Correlation between the TPS and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for referral quality. The 327 referrals had an average TPS of 13.2 (range 1-25) and an average VAS of 4.7 (range 0.2-9.5). The reliability of the score was excellent, with an intra-rater intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.87 and inter-rater ICC of 0.91. The overall correlation between the TPS and the VAS was moderate (r=0.42), and ranged from fair to substantial for the various indications. Mean agreement was good (ICC=0.47, 95% CI (0.34 to 0.57)), ranging from poor to good. The TPS is reliable, objective and shows good agreement with the subjective VAS. The score may be a useful tool for assessing referral quality in gastroenterology, particularly important when evaluating the effect of interventions to improve referral quality. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  14. An objective methodology for the evaluation of the air quality stations positioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benassi, A.; Marson, G.; Baraldo, E.; Dalan, F.; Lorenzet, K.; Bellasio, R.; Bianconi, R.

    2006-01-01

    This work describes a methodology for the evaluation of the correct positioning of the monitoring stations of an air quality network. The methodology is based on the Italian legislation, the European Directives and on some technical documents used as guidelines at European level. The paper describes all the assumption on which the methodology is based and the results of its application to the air quality network of Region Veneto (Italy) [it

  15. Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews Published in the Urological Literature from 1998 to 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbyons, Katherine; Han, Julia; Neuberger, Molly M; Dahm, Philipp

    2015-11-01

    Systematic reviews synthesize the current best evidence to address a clinical question. Given the growing emphasis on evidence-based clinical practice, systematic reviews are being increasingly sought after and published. We previously reported limitations in the methodological quality of 57 individual systematic reviews published from 1998 to 2008. We provide an update to our previous study, adding systematic reviews published from 2009 to 2012. We systematically searched PubMed® and hand searched the table of contents of 4 major urological journals to identify systematic reviews related to questions of prevention and therapy. Two independent reviewers with prior formal evidence-based medicine training assessed the methodological quality using the validated 11-point AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews) instrument. We performed predefined statistical hypothesis testing for differences by publication period (1998 to 2008 vs 2009 to 2012) and journal of publication. We performed statistical testing using SPSS®, version 23.0 with a 2-sided α of 0.05 using the Student t-test, ANOVA and the chi-square test. A total of 113 systematic reviews published from 2009 to 2012 met study inclusion criteria. The most common topics were oncology (44 reviews or 38.9%), voiding dysfunction (26 or 23.0%) and stones/endourology (13 or 11.5%). The largest contributor was European Urology (46 reviews or 40.7%), followed by BJU International (31 or 27.4%) and The Journal of Urology® (22 or 19.5%). The mean ± SD AMSTAR score for the 2009 to 2012 period was 5.3 ± 2.3 compared to 4.8 ± 2.0 for 1998 to 2008 with a mean difference of 0.5 (95% CI 0.2 to 1.2, p = 0.133). While the number of systematic reviews published in the urological literature has increased substantially, the methodological quality of these studies remains suboptimal. Systematic review authors and editors should make every effort to adhere to well established methodological standards to enhance

  16. A Novel Scoring Metrics for Quality Assurance of Ocean Color Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, J.; Lee, Z.

    2016-02-01

    Interpretation of the ocean bio-optical properties from ocean color observations depends on the quality of the ocean color data, specifically the spectrum of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs). The in situ and remotely measured Rrs spectra are inevitably subject to errors induced by instrument calibration, sea-surface correction and atmospheric correction, and other environmental factors. Great efforts have been devoted to the ocean color calibration and validation. Yet, there exist no objective and consensus criteria for assessment of the ocean color data quality. In this study, the gap is filled by developing a novel metrics for such data quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC). This new QA metrics is not intended to discard "suspicious" Rrs spectra from available datasets. Rather, it takes into account the Rrs spectral shapes and amplitudes as a whole and grades each Rrs spectrum. This scoring system is developed based on a large ensemble of in situ hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance data measured from various aquatic environments and processed with robust procedures. This system is further tested with the NASA bio-Optical Marine Algorithm Data set (NOMAD), with results indicating significant improvements in the estimation of bio-optical properties when Rrs spectra marked with higher quality assurance are used. This scoring system is further verified with simulated data and satellite ocean color data in various regions, and we envision higher quality ocean color products with the implementation of such a quality screening system.

  17. [Methodological quality of articles on therapeutic procedures published in Cirugía Española. Evaluation of the period 2005-2008].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manterola, Carlos; Grande, Luís

    2010-04-01

    To determine methodological quality of therapy articles published in Cirugía Española and to study its association with the publication year, the centre of origin and subjects. A literature study which included all therapy articles published between 2005 and 2008. All kinds of clinical designs were considered, excluding editorials, review articles, letters to editor and experimental studies. Variables analysed included: year of publication, centre of origin, design, and methodological quality of articles. A valid and reliable scale was applied to determine methodological quality. A total of 243 articles [206 series of cases (84.8%), 27 cohort studies (11.1%), 9 clinical trials (3.7%) and 1 case control study (0.4%)] were found. Studies came preferentially from Catalonia and Valencia (22.3% and 12.3% respectively). Thematic areas most frequently found were hepato-bilio-pancreatic and colorectal surgery (20.0% and 16.6%, respectively). Average and median of the methodological quality score calculated for the entire series were 9.5+/-4.3 points and 8 points, respectively. Association between methodological quality and geographical area (p=0.0101), subject area (p=0.0267), and university origin (p=0.0369) was found. A significant increase of methodological quality by publication year was observed (p=0.0004). Methodological quality of therapy articles published in Cirugía Española between 2005 and 2008 is low; but an increase tendency with statistical significance was observed.

  18. Recursive and non-linear logistic regression: moving on from the original EuroSCORE and EuroSCORE II methodologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poullis, Michael

    2014-11-01

    EuroSCORE II, despite improving on the original EuroSCORE system, has not solved all the calibration and predictability issues. Recursive, non-linear and mixed recursive and non-linear regression analysis were assessed with regard to sensitivity, specificity and predictability of the original EuroSCORE and EuroSCORE II systems. The original logistic EuroSCORE, EuroSCORE II and recursive, non-linear and mixed recursive and non-linear regression analyses of these risk models were assessed via receiver operator characteristic curves (ROC) and Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic analysis with regard to the accuracy of predicting in-hospital mortality. Analysis was performed for isolated coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs) (n = 2913), aortic valve replacement (AVR) (n = 814), mitral valve surgery (n = 340), combined AVR and CABG (n = 517), aortic (n = 350), miscellaneous cases (n = 642), and combinations of the above cases (n = 5576). The original EuroSCORE had an ROC below 0.7 for isolated AVR and combined AVR and CABG. None of the methods described increased the ROC above 0.7. The EuroSCORE II risk model had an ROC below 0.7 for isolated AVR only. Recursive regression, non-linear regression, and mixed recursive and non-linear regression all increased the ROC above 0.7 for isolated AVR. The original EuroSCORE had a Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic that was above 0.05 for all patients and the subgroups analysed. All of the techniques markedly increased the Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic. The EuroSCORE II risk model had a Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic that was significant for all patients (P linear regression failed to improve on the original Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic. The mixed recursive and non-linear regression using the EuroSCORE II risk model was the only model that produced an ROC of 0.7 or above for all patients and procedures and had a Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic that was highly non-significant. The original EuroSCORE and the EuroSCORE II risk models do not have adequate ROC and Hosmer

  19. The use of a dietary quality score as a predictor of childhood overweight and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Catherine P; Keane, Eimear; Layte, Richard; Fitzgerald, Anthony P; Perry, Ivan J; Harrington, Janas M

    2015-06-24

    The use of dietary quality scores/indices to describe diet quality in children has increased in the past decade. However, to date, few studies have focused on the use of these scores on disease outcomes such as childhood obesity and most are developed from detailed dietary assessments. Therefore, the aims of this study were: firstly to construct a diet quality score (DQS) from a brief dietary assessment tool; secondly to examine the association between diet quality and childhood overweight or obesity; thirdly we also aim to examine the associations between individual DQS components and childhood overweight or obesity. A secondary analysis of cross sectional data of a sample of 8,568 9-year-old children and their families as part of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study. Subjects were drawn from a probability proportionate to size sampling of primary schools throughout Ireland over the school year 2007-2008. Height and weight were measured by trained researchers using standardised methods and BMI was classified using the International Obesity Taskforce cut-points. The DQS (un-weighted) was developed using a 20-item, parent reported, food frequency questionnaire of foods consumed over the past 24 h. Adjusted odds ratios for overweight and obesity were examined by DQS quintile, using the first quintile (highest diet quality) as the reference category. The prevalence of normal weight, overweight and obese was 75, 19 and 6% respectively. DQS ranged from -5 to 25, higher scores indicated higher diet quality in the continuous score. In analyses adjusted for gender, parent's education, physical activity and T.V. viewing, child obesity but not overweight was significantly associated with poor diet quality: OR of 1.56 (95% CI 1.02 2.38) in the 5th compared to the 1st DQS quintile. Findings from individual food items were inconsistent. The findings suggest that diet quality may be an important factor in childhood obesity. A simple DQS developed from a short dietary assessment

  20. Key performance indicators score (KPIs-score) based on clinical and laboratorial parameters can establish benchmarks for internal quality control in an ART program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, José G; Petersen, Claudia G; Mauri, Ana L; Vagnini, Laura D; Renzi, Adriana; Petersen, Bruna; Mattila, M C; Comar, Vanessa A; Ricci, Juliana; Dieamant, Felipe; Oliveira, João Batista A; Baruffi, Ricardo L R

    2017-06-01

    KPIs have been employed for internal quality control (IQC) in ART. However, clinical KPIs (C-KPIs) such as age, AMH and number of oocytes collected are never added to laboratory KPIs (L-KPIs), such as fertilization rate and morphological quality of the embryos for analysis, even though the final endpoint is the evaluation of clinical pregnancy rates. This paper analyzed if a KPIs-score strategy with clinical and laboratorial parameters could be used to establish benchmarks for IQC in ART cycles. In this prospective cohort study, 280 patients (36.4±4.3years) underwent ART. The total KPIs-score was obtained by the analysis of age, AMH (AMH Gen II ELISA/pre-mixing modified, Beckman Coulter Inc.), number of metaphase-II oocytes, fertilization rates and morphological quality of the embryonic lot. The total KPIs-score (C-KPIs+L-KPIs) was correlated with the presence or absence of clinical pregnancy. The relationship between the C-KPIs and L-KPIs scores was analyzed to establish quality standards, to increase the performance of clinical and laboratorial processes in ART. The logistic regression model (LRM), with respect to pregnancy and total KPIs-score (280 patients/102 clinical pregnancies), yielded an odds ratio of 1.24 (95%CI = 1.16-1.32). There was also a significant difference (pclinical pregnancies (total KPIs-score=20.4±3.7) and the group without clinical pregnancies (total KPIs-score=15.9±5). Clinical pregnancy probabilities (CPP) can be obtained using the LRM (prediction key) with the total KPIs-score as a predictor variable. The mean C-KPIs and L-KPIs scores obtained in the pregnancy group were 11.9±2.9 and 8.5±1.7, respectively. Routinely, in all cases where the C-KPIs score was ≥9, after the procedure, the L-KPIs score obtained was ≤6, a revision of the laboratory procedure was performed to assess quality standards. This total KPIs-score could set up benchmarks for clinical pregnancy. Moreover, IQC can use C-KPIs and L-KPIs scores to detect problems

  1. Clinical practice guidelines and consensus statements in oncology--an assessment of their methodological quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel Jacobs

    Full Text Available Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines are widely available for enhancing the care of cancer patients. Despite subtle differences in their definition and purpose, these terms are often used interchangeably. We systematically assessed the methodological quality of consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published in three commonly read, geographically diverse, cancer-specific journals. Methods Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published between January 2005 and September 2013 in Current Oncology, European Journal of Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology were evaluated. Each publication was assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II rigour of development and editorial independence domains. For assessment of transparency of document development, 7 additional items were taken from the Institute of Medicine's standards for practice guidelines and the Journal of Clinical Oncology guidelines for authors of guidance documents.Consensus statements and clinical practice guidelines published between January 2005 and September 2013 in Current Oncology, European Journal of Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology were evaluated. Each publication was assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II rigour of development and editorial independence domains. For assessment of transparency of document development, 7 additional items were taken from the Institute of Medicine's standards for practice guidelines and the Journal of Clinical Oncology guidelines for authors of guidance documents.Thirty-four consensus statements and 67 clinical practice guidelines were evaluated. The rigour of development score for consensus statements over the three journals was 32% lower than that of clinical practice guidelines. The editorial independence score was 15% lower for consensus statements than clinical practice guidelines. One journal scored

  2. Methodological and Reporting Quality of Comparative Studies Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life of Colorectal Cancer Patients and Controls: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Carlos K H; Guo, Vivian Y W; Chen, Jing; Lam, Cindy L K

    2016-11-01

    Health-related quality of life is an important outcome measure in patients with colorectal cancer. Comparison with normative data has been increasingly undertaken to assess the additional impact of colorectal cancer on health-related quality of life. This review aimed to critically appraise the methodological details and reporting characteristics of comparative studies evaluating differences in health-related quality of life between patients and controls. A systematic search of English-language literature published between January 1985 and May 2014 was conducted through a database search of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Medline. Comparative studies reporting health-related quality-of-life outcomes among patients who have colorectal cancer and controls were selected. Methodological and reporting quality per comparison study was evaluated based on a 11-item methodological checklist proposed by Efficace in 2003 and a set of criteria predetermined by reviewers. Thirty-one comparative studies involving >10,000 patients and >10,000 controls were included. Twenty-three studies (74.2%) originated from European countries, with the largest number from the Netherlands (n = 6). Twenty-eight studies (90.3%) compared the health-related quality of life of patients with normative data published elsewhere, whereas the remaining studies recruited a group of patients who had colorectal cancer and a group of control patients within the same studies. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire Core 30 was the most extensively used instrument (n = 16; 51.6%). Eight studies (25.8%) were classified as "probably robust" for clinical decision making according to the Efficace standard methodological checklist. Our further quality assessment revealed the lack of score differences reported (61.3%), contemporary comparisons (36.7%), statistical significance tested (38.7%), and matching of control group (58.1%), possibly leading to

  3. OpenKnowledge Deliverable 3.3.: A methodology for ontology matching quality evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Yatskevich, Mikalai; Giunchiglia, Fausto; McNeill, Fiona; Shvaiko, Pavel

    2007-01-01

    This document presents an evaluation methodology for the assessment of quality results produced by ontology matchers. In particular, it discusses: (i) several standard quality measures used in the ontology matching evaluation, (ii) a methodology of how to build semiautomatically an incomplete reference alignment allowing for the assessment of quality results produced by ontology matchers and (iii) a preliminary empirical evaluation of the OpenKnowledge ontology matching component.

  4. The development of a checklist to enhance methodological quality in intervention programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Chacón-Moscoso

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The methodological quality of primary studies is an important issue when performing meta-analyses or systematic reviews. Nevertheless, there are no clear criteria for how methodological quality should be analyzed. Controversies emerge when considering the various theoretical and empirical definitions, especially in relation to three interrelated problems: the lack of representativeness, utility, and feasibility. In this article, we (a systematize and summarize the available literature about methodological quality in primary studies; (b propose a specific, parsimonious, 12-item checklist to empirically define the methodological quality of primary studies based on a content validity study; and (c present an inter-coder reliability study for the resulting 12 items. This paper provides a precise and rigorous description of the development of this checklist, highlighting the clearly specified criteria for the inclusion of items and a substantial inter-coder agreement in the different items. Rather than simply proposing another checklist, however, it then argues that the list constitutes an assessment tool with respect to the representativeness, utility, and feasibility of the most frequent methodological quality items in the literature, one that provides practitioners and researchers with clear criteria for choosing items that may be adequate to their needs. We propose individual methodological features as indicators of quality, arguing that these need to be taken into account when designing, implementing, or evaluating an intervention program. This enhances methodological quality of intervention programs and fosters the cumulative knowledge based on meta-analyses of these interventions. Future development of the checklist is discussed.

  5. A methodology for texture feature-based quality assessment in nucleus segmentation of histopathology image

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Si Wen

    2017-01-01

    's label. Results: The proposed methodology has been evaluated by assessing the segmentation quality of a segmentation method applied to images from two cancer types in The Cancer Genome Atlas; WHO Grade II lower grade glioma (LGG and lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD. The results show that our method performs well in predicting patches with good-quality segmentations and achieves F1 scores 84.7% for LGG and 75.43% for LUAD. Conclusions: As image scanning technologies advance, large volumes of whole-slide tissue images will be available for research and clinical use. Efficient approaches for the assessment of quality and robustness of output from computerized image analysis workflows will become increasingly critical to extracting useful quantitative information from tissue images. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of machine-learning-based semi-automated techniques to assist researchers and algorithm developers in this process.

  6. Complications among colorectal cancer survivors: SF-6D preference-weighted quality of life scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornbrook, Mark C; Wendel, Christopher S; Coons, Stephen Joel; Grant, Marcia; Herrinton, Lisa J; Mohler, M Jane; Baldwin, Carol M; McMullen, Carmit K; Green, Sylvan B; Altschuler, Andrea; Rawl, Susan M; Krouse, Robert S

    2011-03-01

    Societal preference-weighted health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores enable comparing multidimensional health states across diseases and treatments for research and policy. To assess the effects of living with a permanent intestinal stoma, compared with a major bowel resection, among colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors. Cross-sectional multivariate linear regression analysis to explain preference-weighted HRQOL scores. In all, 640 CRC survivors (≥ 5 years) from 3 group model health maintenance organizations; ostomates and nonostomates with colorectal resections for CRC were matched on gender, age (± 5 years), time since diagnosis, and tumor site (rectum vs. colon). SF-6D scoring system was applied to Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 version 2 (SF-36v2); City of Hope Quality of Life-Ostomy; and Charlson-Deyo comorbidity index. Survey of CRC survivors linked to respondents' clinical data extracted from health maintenance organization files. Response rate was 52%. Ostomates and nonostomates had similar sociodemographic characteristics. Mean SF-6D score was 0.69 for ostomates, compared with 0.73 for nonostomates (P ostomy after other factors were taken into account. Surgical complications, comorbidities, and metastatic disease lowered the preference-weighted HRQOL of CRC survivors with and without ostomies. Further research to understand and reduce late complications from CRC surgeries as well as associated depression is warranted.

  7. Methodology for Evaluating Quality and Reusability of Learning Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurilovas, Eugenijus; Bireniene, Virginija; Serikoviene, Silvija

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the paper is to present the scientific model and several methods for the expert evaluation of quality of learning objects (LOs) paying especial attention to LOs reusability level. The activities of eQNet Quality Network for a European Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) aimed to improve reusability of LOs of European Schoolnet's LRE…

  8. Dictionary quality and dictionary design: a methodology for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although recent dictionaries for the ESL market have been praised for their innovative design features, the prime concern of users, lexicographers and metalexicographers is the functional quality of the dictionary products provided for the market. The functional quality of dictionaries and the scientific assessment thereof ...

  9. Using quality scores and longer reads improves accuracy of Solexa read mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Zhenyu

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Second-generation sequencing has the potential to revolutionize genomics and impact all areas of biomedical science. New technologies will make re-sequencing widely available for such applications as identifying genome variations or interrogating the oligonucleotide content of a large sample (e.g. ChIP-sequencing. The increase in speed, sensitivity and availability of sequencing technology brings demand for advances in computational technology to perform associated analysis tasks. The Solexa/Illumina 1G sequencer can produce tens of millions of reads, ranging in length from ~25–50 nt, in a single experiment. Accurately mapping the reads back to a reference genome is a critical task in almost all applications. Two sources of information that are often ignored when mapping reads from the Solexa technology are the 3' ends of longer reads, which contain a much higher frequency of sequencing errors, and the base-call quality scores. Results To investigate whether these sources of information can be used to improve accuracy when mapping reads, we developed the RMAP tool, which can map reads having a wide range of lengths and allows base-call quality scores to determine which positions in each read are more important when mapping. We applied RMAP to analyze data re-sequenced from two human BAC regions for varying read lengths, and varying criteria for use of quality scores. RMAP is freely available for downloading at http://rulai.cshl.edu/rmap/. Conclusion Our results indicate that significant gains in Solexa read mapping performance can be achieved by considering the information in 3' ends of longer reads, and appropriately using the base-call quality scores. The RMAP tool we have developed will enable researchers to effectively exploit this information in targeted re-sequencing projects.

  10. A food quality management research methodology integrating technological and managerial theories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luning, P.A.; Marcelis, W.J.

    2009-01-01

    In this article it is argued how the complexity of food quality management combined with the high requirements on food quality requires a specific research methodology. It is concluded that food quality management research has to deal with two quite different paradigms, the one from technological

  11. Bowel Endometriosis Syndrome: a new scoring system for pelvic organ dysfunction and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riiskjær, M; Egekvist, A G; Hartwell, D; Forman, A; Seyer-Hansen, M; Kesmodel, U S

    2017-09-01

    Is it possible to develop a validated score that can identify women with Bowel Endometriosis Syndrome (BENS) and be used to monitor the effect of medical and surgical treatment? The BENS score can be used to identify women with BENS and to monitor the effect of medical and surgical treatment of women suffering from bowel endometriosis. Endometriosis is a heterogeneous disease with extensive variation in anatomical and clinical presentation, and symptoms do not always correspond to the disease burden. Current endometriosis scoring systems are mainly based on anatomical and surgical findings. The score was developed and validated from a cohort of 525 women with medically or surgically treated bowel endometriosis from Aarhus and Copenhagen University Hospitals, Denmark. Patients filled in questionnaires on pelvic pain, quality of life (QoL) and urinary, sexual and bowel function. Items were selected for the final score using clinical and statistical criteria. The chosen variables were included in a multivariate analysis. Individual score values were designated items to form the BENS score, which was divided into 'no BENS', 'minor BENS' and 'major BENS.' Internal and external validations were performed. The six most important items were 'pelvic pain', 'use of analgesics', 'dyschezia', 'straining to urinate', 'fecal urgency' and 'satisfaction with sexual life'. The range of the BENS score (0-28) was divided into 0-8 (no BENS), 9-16 (minor BENS) and 17-28 (major BENS). External validation showed a significant association between BENS score and QoL (P = 0.0001). The BENS scoring system is limited by the fact that it was developed from a single endometriosis unit in Denmark, making it susceptible to social, cultural and demographic bias. It is the first endometriosis classification system to be based directly on the symptomatology of the patient. Validation in other languages will promote comparison of treatments and results across borders. No external funding was either

  12. Depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors after an endurance exercise program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antunes Hanna Karen Moreira

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Mood disorders are a frequent problem in old age, and their symptoms constitute an important public health issue. These alterations affect the quality of life mainly by restricting social life. The participation in a regular exercise program is an effective way of reducing or preventing the functional decline associated with aging. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of fitness-endurance activity (at the intensity of Ventilatory Threshold 1 (VT-1 in depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors. METHODS: The study involved 46 sedentary seniors aged 60-75 (66.97 ± 4.80 who were randomly allocated to two groups: 1 Control group, which was neither asked to vary their everyday activities nor to join a regular physical fitness program; and 2 Experimental group, whose members took part in an aerobic fitness program consisting of ergometer cycle sessions 3 times a week on alternate days for six months working at a heart rate corresponding to ventilatory threshold (VT-1 intensity. Subjects were submitted to a basal evaluation using the geriatric depression screening scale - GDS, STAI trait/state (anxiety scale and SF-36 (quality of life scale. RESULTS: Comparing the groups after the study period, we found a significant decrease in depressive and anxiety scores and an improvement in the quality of life in the experimental group, but no significant changes in the control group. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that an aerobic exercise program at VT-1 intensity suffices to promote favorable modifications in depressive and anxiety scores to improve the quality of life in seniors.

  13. A Prototype Public Speaking Skills Assessment: An Evaluation of Human-Scoring Quality. Research Report. ETS RR-15-36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joe, Jilliam; Kitchen, Christopher; Chen, Lei; Feng, Gary

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to summarize the evaluation of human-scoring quality for an assessment of public speaking skills. Videotaped performances given by 17 speakers on 4 tasks were scored by expert and nonexpert raters who had extensive experience scoring performance-based and constructed-response assessments. The Public Speaking Competence…

  14. The Statistical point of view of Quality: the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolaccini, Luca; Viti, Andrea; Terzi, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Six Sigma and Lean are two quality improvement methodologies. The Lean Six Sigma methodology is applicable to repetitive procedures. Therefore, the use of this methodology in the health-care arena has focused mainly on areas of business operations, throughput, and case management and has focused on efficiency outcomes. After the revision of methodology, the paper presents a brief clinical example of the use of Lean Six Sigma as a quality improvement method in the reduction of the complications during and after lobectomies. Using Lean Six Sigma methodology, the multidisciplinary teams could identify multiple modifiable points across the surgical process. These process improvements could be applied to different surgical specialties and could result in a measurement, from statistical point of view, of the surgical quality.

  15. Validation of the Six Sigma Z-score for the quality assessment of clinical laboratory timeliness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ialongo, Cristiano; Bernardini, Sergio

    2018-03-28

    The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has introduced in recent times the turnaround time (TAT) as mandatory quality indicator for the postanalytical phase. Classic TAT indicators, namely, average, median, 90th percentile and proportion of acceptable test (PAT), are in use since almost 40 years and to date represent the mainstay for gauging the laboratory timeliness. In this study, we investigated the performance of the Six Sigma Z-score, which was previously introduced as a device for the quantitative assessment of timeliness. A numerical simulation was obtained modeling the actual TAT data set using the log-logistic probability density function. Five thousand replicates for each size of the artificial TAT random sample (n=20, 50, 250 and 1000) were generated, and different laboratory conditions were simulated manipulating the PDF in order to generate more or less variable data. The Z-score and the classic TAT indicators were assessed for precision (%CV), robustness toward right-tailing (precision at different sample variability), sensitivity and specificity. Z-score showed sensitivity and specificity comparable to PAT (≈80% with n≥250), but superior precision that ranged within 20% by moderately small sized samples (n≥50); furthermore, Z-score was less affected by the value of the cutoff used for setting the acceptable TAT, as well as by the sample variability that reflected into the magnitude of right-tailing. The Z-score was a valid indicator of laboratory timeliness and a suitable device to improve as well as to maintain the achieved quality level.

  16. Improving iris recognition performance using segmentation, quality enhancement, match score fusion, and indexing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatsa, Mayank; Singh, Richa; Noore, Afzel

    2008-08-01

    This paper proposes algorithms for iris segmentation, quality enhancement, match score fusion, and indexing to improve both the accuracy and the speed of iris recognition. A curve evolution approach is proposed to effectively segment a nonideal iris image using the modified Mumford-Shah functional. Different enhancement algorithms are concurrently applied on the segmented iris image to produce multiple enhanced versions of the iris image. A support-vector-machine-based learning algorithm selects locally enhanced regions from each globally enhanced image and combines these good-quality regions to create a single high-quality iris image. Two distinct features are extracted from the high-quality iris image. The global textural feature is extracted using the 1-D log polar Gabor transform, and the local topological feature is extracted using Euler numbers. An intelligent fusion algorithm combines the textural and topological matching scores to further improve the iris recognition performance and reduce the false rejection rate, whereas an indexing algorithm enables fast and accurate iris identification. The verification and identification performance of the proposed algorithms is validated and compared with other algorithms using the CASIA Version 3, ICE 2005, and UBIRIS iris databases.

  17. Improving the Quality of Experience Journals: Training Educational Psychology Students in Basic Qualitative Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds-Keefer, Laura

    2010-01-01

    This study evaluates the impact of teaching basic qualitative methodology to preservice teachers enrolled in an educational psychology course in the quality of observation journals. Preservice teachers enrolled in an educational psychology course requiring 45 hr of field experience were given qualitative methodological training as a part of the…

  18. Methodological and reporting quality in laboratory studies of human eating behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Robinson, E.; Bevelander, K.E.; Field, M.; Jones, A.

    2018-01-01

    The methodological quality and reporting practices of laboratory studies of human eating behavior determine the validity and replicability of nutrition science. The aim of this research was to examine basic methodology and reporting practices in recent representative laboratory studies of human

  19. Economic evaluation studies in reproductive medicine: a systematic review of methodologic quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moolenaar, Lobke M.; Vijgen, Sylvia M. C.; Hompes, Peter; van der Veen, Fulco; Mol, Ben Willem J.; Opmeer, Brent C.

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the methodologic quality of economic analyses published in the field of reproductive medicine. Systematic review. Centers for reproductive care. Infertility patients. We performed a Medline search to identify economic evaluation studies in reproductive medicine. We included studies that

  20. Association between prospective registration and overall reporting and methodological quality of systematic reviews: a meta-epidemiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Long; Tian, Jin-Hui; Li, Ya-Nan; Pan, Jia-Xue; Li, Ge; Wei, Dang; Xing, Xin; Pan, Bei; Chen, Yao-Long; Song, Fu-Jian; Yang, Ke-Hu

    2018-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in main characteristics, reporting and methodological quality between prospectively registered and nonregistered systematic reviews. PubMed was searched to identify systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials published in 2015 in English. After title and abstract screening, potentially relevant reviews were divided into three groups: registered non-Cochrane reviews, Cochrane reviews, and nonregistered reviews. For each group, random number tables were generated in Microsoft Excel, and the first 50 eligible studies from each group were randomly selected. Data of interest from systematic reviews were extracted. Regression analyses were conducted to explore the association between total Revised Assessment of Multiple Systematic Review (R-AMSTAR) or Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) scores and the selected characteristics of systematic reviews. The conducting and reporting of literature search in registered reviews were superior to nonregistered reviews. Differences in 9 of the 11 R-AMSTAR items were statistically significant between registered and nonregistered reviews. The total R-AMSTAR score of registered reviews was higher than nonregistered reviews [mean difference (MD) = 4.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.70, 5.94]. Sensitivity analysis by excluding the registration-related item presented similar result (MD = 4.34, 95% CI: 3.28, 5.40). Total PRISMA scores of registered reviews were significantly higher than nonregistered reviews (all reviews: MD = 1.47, 95% CI: 0.64-2.30; non-Cochrane reviews: MD = 1.49, 95% CI: 0.56-2.42). However, the difference in the total PRISMA score was no longer statistically significant after excluding the item related to registration (item 5). Regression analyses showed similar results. Prospective registration may at least indirectly improve the overall methodological quality of systematic reviews, although its impact

  1. Oral health-related quality-of-life scores differ by socioeconomic status and caries experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffee, Benjamin W; Rodrigues, Priscila Humbert; Kramer, Paulo Floriani; Vítolo, Márcia Regina; Feldens, Carlos Alberto

    2017-06-01

    (i) Quantify the relative association between child dental caries experience and maternal-reported child oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL); (ii) examine whether that association differed according to family socioeconomic status (SES); and (iii) explore whether absolute OHRQoL varied by family SES at similar levels of child caries experience. This study was a cross-sectional analysis of children in southern Brazil (n=456, mean age: 38 months) participating in an existing health centre-based intervention study. OHRQoL impact was quantified as mean score on the Brazilian Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) and compared over categories of caries experience (dmft: 0, dmft: 1-4, dmft: ≥5). Adjusted ECOHIS ratios between caries categories were calculated using regression modelling, overall and within socioeconomic strata defined by maternal education, social class and household income. Caries prevalence (dmft >0) was 39.7%, mean ECOHIS score was 2.0 (SD: 3.5), and 44.3% of mothers reported OHRQoL impact (ECOHIS score >0). Increasing child caries experience was associated with worsening child and family quality of life: ECOHIS scores were 3.0 times greater (95% CI: 2.0, 4.4) for children with dmft ≥5 vs dmft=0, a pattern that persisted regardless of family socioeconomic status (P for interaction: all >0.3). However, adjusted for dental status and sociodemographic characteristics, mean ECOHIS scores were lower when reported by mothers of less educational attainment (ratio: 0.7; 95% CI: 0.5, 1.0), lower social class (ratio: 0.7; 95% CI: 0.5, 1.0) or in lower income households (ratio: 0.8; 95% CI: 0.6, 1.3). Dental caries was associated with negative child and family experiences and lower OHRQoL across all social groups; yet, families facing greater disadvantage may report lesser quality-of-life impact at the same level of disease experience. Thus, subjective quality-of-life measures may differ under varying social contexts, with possible

  2. A methodology of healthcare quality measurement: a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecoraro, F; Luzi, D; Federico II, Naples (Italy))" data-affiliation=" (Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and Interuniversity Centre of Bioengineering of the Human Neuromusculoskeletal System, University of Naples, Federico II, Naples (Italy))" >Cesarelli, M; Clemente, F

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present a comprehensive model for quality assessment taking into account structure, process and outcome dimensions introduced in the Donabedian framework. To test our hypothesis a case study based on the Italian healthcare services is reported focusing on the analysis of the hospital bed management and on the phenomenon of both active and passive patient mobility

  3. Measurement of quality of life I. A methodological framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ventegodt, Søren; Hilden, Jørgen; Merrick, Joav

    2003-01-01

    meet to provide a sound basis for investigation by questionnaire. The seven criteria or desiderata are: (1) an explicit definition of quality of life; (2) a coherent philosophy of human life from which the definition is derived; (3) a theory that operationalizes the philosophy by specifying unambiguous...

  4. Terminology and methodology in modelling for water quality management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carstensen, J.; Vanrolleghem, P.; Rauch, W.

    1997-01-01

    There is a widespread need for a common terminology in modelling for water quality management. This paper points out sources of confusion in the communication between researchers due to misuse of existing terminology or use of unclear terminology. The paper attempts to clarify the context...... of the most widely used terms for characterising models and within the process of model building. It is essential to the ever growing society of researchers within water quality management, that communication is eased by establishing a common terminology. This should not be done by giving broader definitions...... of the terms, but by stressing the use of a stringent terminology. Therefore, the goal of the paper is to advocate the use of such a well defined and clear terminology. (C) 1997 IAWQ. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd....

  5. KAIZEN METHODOLOGY IN QUALITY MANAGEMENT TO REDUCE WASTES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boca Gratiela Dana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Kaizen cannot deal with all problems and one size does not fit all but a flexibleimplementation opens up the dimension of collaboration between the workforce, themanagement and the technical departments. In every company, it operates in a differentway to suit the circumstances but all consider it indispensable. It is more flexible andtolerant than may be expected; it is a tool for integration of technological strategy with thebusiness strategy of the organization. Technology is forcing organizations to become morecompetitive as at every instance innovations take place. Recent innovations in the form oftotal quality management, reengineering work process, flexible manufacturing system haveonly one thing in common - well serving the customer by improved operational efficiency.For instant Quality Management advocates emphasize the importance of achieving higherquality and flexibility at lower level of cost and waste.

  6. The economic valuation of environmental quality: A methodological study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sung Yucsheng.

    1991-01-01

    Conducted in the context of sportfishing, this study uses Michigan data to estimate fishing demand and resulting consumer surplus accruing from environmental-policy implementation. For the modeling of fish-species and site decisions, a nested multinomial logit model is employed. On a pre-determined choice occasion during which a trip of a specific duration will be taken, an angler is assumed first to make a fish-species decision, then choose a site. The seasonal-participation decision is modeled by a competing-risks stochastic renewal process, incorporating time-varying parameters to account for changes in site quality through time. Since the number of trips would most likely change after a potential site-quality improvement, the proposed seasonal compensating variation (CV) calculation takes into account (1) the CV associated with the trips that would have been taken before the quality improvement, and (2) the CV associated with the new trips. The approach proposed in this study is applied to two real world policy scenarios: The termination of the Ludington Pumped Storage plant operation, and the removal of PCB contamination in the Kalamazoo River. The compensating variation is derived for both applications

  7. Do employers know the quality of health care benefits they provide? Use of HEDIS depression scores for health plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robst, John; Rost, Kathryn; Marshall, Donna

    2013-11-01

    OBJECTIVE Dissemination of health quality measures is a necessary ingredient of efforts to harness market-based forces, such as value-based purchasing by employers, to improve health care quality. This study examined reporting of Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures for depression to firms interested in improving depression care. METHODS During surveys conducted between 2009 and 2011, a sample of 325 employers that were interested in improving depression treatment were asked whether their primary health plan reports HEDIS scores for depression to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and if so, whether they knew the scores. Data about HEDIS reporting by the health plans were collected from the NCQA. RESULTS HEDIS depression scores were reported by the primary health plans of 154 (47%) employers, but only 7% of employers knew their plan's HEDIS scores. Because larger employers were more likely to report knowing the scores, 53% of all employees worked for employers who reported knowing the scores. A number of structural, health benefit, and need characteristics predicted knowledge of HEDIS depression scores by employers. CONCLUSIONS The study demonstrated that motivated employers did not know their depression HEDIS scores even when their plan publicly reported them. Measures of health care quality are not reaching the buyers of insurance products; however, larger employers were more likely to know the HEDIS scores for their health plan, suggesting that value-based purchasing may have some ability to affect health care quality.

  8. Prevalence of high blood pressure in Brazilian adolescents and quality of the employed methodological procedures: systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Gabriella Pereira de Andrada Magalhães

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on studies that estimated the prevalence of high blood pressure (HBP or systemic arterial hypertension (SAH in Brazilian adolescents, considering the employed methodological procedures. METHODS: Bibliographical research of prevalence studies of HBP/SAH in adolescents from 1995 to 2010. The search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed/Medline, Lilacs, SciELO, and Isi Adolec. The descriptors "hypertension", "BP", "teen", "students", "cross-sectional", "prevalence" and "Brazil" were used in Portuguese and English. Furthermore, a score ranging from 0 to 18 based on Recommendations for Blood Pressure Measurement in Humans and Experimental Animals and the VI Brazilian Guidelines of Hypertension was elaborated, in order to analyze the procedures used to measure BP in studies. RESULTS: Twenty-one articles were identified, mostly published in the last 10 years, and 90.5% were performed in school-based and regions of the Southeast, Northeast and South. The prevalence of HBP/SAH ranged from 2.5 to 30.9%. The score of the studies ranged from 0 to 16. A significant negative correlation (rho = -0.504; p = 0.020 was observed between the prevalence of HBP/SAH and the score of BP measurement quality. CONCLUSION: The great variability of PAE/SAH estimates appears to be influenced by methodological procedures used in the studies.

  9. Classification and Prioritization of Strategic Plans in Balanced Score Card (BSC Model by Fuzzy Quality Function Deployment and Zero-One Goal Programming (ZOGP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    mehdi pourmostafa

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Due to continuous changes in organizational environment, there is no warranty for long term survival in the market. Currently, those organizations can succeed that are agile and able to rapidly respond to environmental requirements. In this research a model has been proposed for applying proper strategies for achieving long term organizational success. The proposed model is an integration of Balanced Score Card (BSC approach, Fuzzy Quality Function Development (FQFD and Zero-One Goal Programming (ZOGP. In fact by BSC, appropriate strategic plans can be designed and prioritized by FQFD. Then, based on multiple objectives and existing problem constraints, feasible strategic plans are identified by ZOGP. Findings imply that decision making techniques can be well utilized in designing BSC through a structured methodology make improvement in all aspects and have a positive influence on organization's performance in long term .   Keywords : B alanced Score Card , Fuzzy Quality Function Development, Zero-One Goal Programming, Strategic plans

  10. [Methodological quality and reporting quality evaluation of randomized controlled trials published in China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Dan-Dan; Xie, Yan-Ming; Liao, Xing; Zhi, Ying-Jie; Jiang, Jun-Jie; Chen, Wei

    2018-02-01

    To evaluate the methodological quality and reporting quality of randomized controlled trials(RCTs) published in China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, we searched CNKI and China Journal of Chinese Materia webpage to collect RCTs since the establishment of the magazine. The Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool was used to evaluate the methodological quality of RCTs. The CONSORT 2010 list was adopted as reporting quality evaluating tool. Finally, 184 RCTs were included and evaluated methodologically, of which 97 RCTs were evaluated with reporting quality. For the methodological evaluating, 62 trials(33.70%) reported the random sequence generation; 9(4.89%) trials reported the allocation concealment; 25(13.59%) trials adopted the method of blinding; 30(16.30%) trials reported the number of patients withdrawing, dropping out and those lost to follow-up;2 trials (1.09%) reported trial registration and none of the trial reported the trial protocol; only 8(4.35%) trials reported the sample size estimation in details. For reporting quality appraising, 3 reporting items of 25 items were evaluated with high-quality,including: abstract, participants qualified criteria, and statistical methods; 4 reporting items with medium-quality, including purpose, intervention, random sequence method, and data collection of sites and locations; 9 items with low-quality reporting items including title, backgrounds, random sequence types, allocation concealment, blindness, recruitment of subjects, baseline data, harms, and funding;the rest of items were of extremely low quality(the compliance rate of reporting item<10%). On the whole, the methodological and reporting quality of RCTs published in the magazine are generally low. Further improvement in both methodological and reporting quality for RCTs of traditional Chinese medicine are warranted. It is recommended that the international standards and procedures for RCT design should be strictly followed to conduct high-quality trials

  11. Impact Evaluation of Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Methodology and Causal Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiber, Theodor; Stensaker, Bjørn; Harvey, Lee

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, the theoretical perspectives and general methodological elements of impact evaluation of quality assurance in higher education institutions are discussed, which should be a cornerstone of quality development in higher education and contribute to improving the knowledge about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of quality…

  12. Quality Assurance and Its Impact from Higher Education Institutions' Perspectives: Methodological Approaches, Experiences and Expectations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejan, Stelian Andrei; Janatuinen, Tero; Jurvelin, Jouni; Klöpping, Susanne; Malinen, Heikki; Minke, Bernhard; Vacareanu, Radu

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on methodological approaches, experiences and expectations referring to impact analysis of quality assurance from the perspective of three higher education institutions (students, teaching staff, quality managers) from Germany, Finland and Romania. The presentations of the three sample institutions focus on discussing the core…

  13. Methodology of clinical measures of healthcare quality delivered to patients with cardiovascular diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Posnenkova O.M.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The results of implementation the methodology proposed by American Colleague of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA for development of Russian clinical quality measures for patients with arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease and chronic heart failure. Created quality measures cover the key elements of medical care influencing directly on clinical outcomes of treatment.

  14. Methodological Validation of Quality of Life Questionnaire for Coal Mining Groups-Indian Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Sayanti; Sen, Goutam; Tewary, B. K.

    2012-01-01

    Maslow's hierarchy-of-needs theory has been used to predict development of Quality of Life (QOL) in countries over time. In this paper an attempt has been taken to derive a methodological validation of quality of life questionnaire which have been prepared for the study area. The objective of the study is to standardize a questionnaire tool to…

  15. Dosimetric quality control in radiotherapy using TLD methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saravi, M.C.; Kessler, C.; Alvarez, P.E.; Feld, D.B.

    2002-01-01

    In the frame of the IAEA Co-ordinated Research Project 'Development of a Quality Assurance Program for Radiation Therapy Dosimetry in Developing Countries' a Dosimetric Quality Control Group was set up in Argentina in 1996, to develop a program in order to improve radiotherapy in the country. Nowadays, this Group, briefly called External Audit Group (EAG), is composed by the national Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL), which has the responsibility for dose determinations, traceability to international dosimetry chain and TLD measurements, and two Medical Physicists from CNEA who are working at the Oncology Hospital 'Marie Curie' in Buenos Aires. The present paper reports the activities performed by the EAG with external high energy photon beams in reference conditions and the results of two pilot studies on cobalt 60 beams in non-reference conditions. The first step of the program was to update the existing data base about the radiotherapy centres operating in the country. A form was sent to each of them in order to obtain basic information about their staff, number and type of treatment machines, brachytherapy sources, measuring devices, beam calibration, treatment planning system, simulator and other relevant data. 90 radiotherapy centres were registered in the EAG data base. Forms were completed by 75/90 centres. There are nowadays 69 cobalt 60 units and 42 LINACs operating in the country (18/42 LINACs producing high energy X ray and electron beams). EAG deals with measurements performed with mailed TLD irradiated at radiotherapy centres. Internal quality control on our TLD system is made during each audit by means of reference capsules irradiated by IAEA; external controls consist in blind tests performed by IAEA once a year. The correction factor, K en , determined at our SSDL for high energy X-rays was checked with the collaboration of IAEA and Prague National Radiation Protection Institute (PNRPI) by means of a blind test. Results for 4 MV, 6 MV

  16. Scoring Mental Health Quality of Life With the SF-36 in Patients With and Without Diabetes Foot Complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Junho; Del Core, Michael A; Wukich, Dane K; Liu, George T; Lalli, Trapper; VanPelt, Michael D; La Fontaine, Javier; Lavery, Lawrence A; Raspovic, Katherine M

    2018-03-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if using orthogonal and oblique factor analysis detect changes in health-related quality of life differently in diabetic patients on the Short Form-36 (SF-36) survey. A total of 155 patients had diabetic foot complications (DFC), and 145 patients had no DFCs. The SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores were calculated using scoring coefficients determined by orthogonal and oblique rotation principle component analyses of the subscales. The DFC group had lower orthogonal ( P < .00001) and oblique PCS scores ( P < .00001). However, despite lower Mental Health subscale scores in the patients with DFCs, orthogonal MCS scores ( P = .156) did not differ. In contrast, the oblique MCS scores reflected the difference in the Mental Health subscale ( P = .0005). Orthogonal and oblique PCS scores did not differ significantly. However, orthogonal MCS scores were significantly higher than oblique MCS scores in those with DFCs ( P = .0004) and without DFCs ( P = .005). The shorter, 12-item SF-12 survey demonstrated similar results. Poorer physical function leads to higher orthogonal MCS scores than if determined by oblique scoring coefficients since Physical Function, Bodily Pain, and General Health are weighted more negatively in orthogonal coefficients when calculating the MCS score. Oblique scoring coefficients may address this issue, but further study is necessary to confirm whether oblique MCS scores accurately represent the mental health of patients with diabetic foot disease.

  17. Quantifying radioxerostomia: salivary flow rate, examiner's score, and quality of life questionnaire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Nawas, B.; Al-Nawas, K.; Kunkel, M.; Groetz, K.A.

    2006-01-01

    Background and purpose: salivary flow rates alone are not sufficient to quantify all aspects of radioxerostomia. This is a problem in studies aiming to reduce radioxerostomia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between objectively measured salivary flow rate and subjective xerostomia ratings by the physician (RTOG scale) or the patients (quality of life [QoL] questionnaire). Patients and methods: in a case-control study patients who underwent recall for oral cancer were screened. Inclusion criteria for this diagnostic, noninterventional study were: history of oral carcinoma, surgical and radiation therapy, time interval from start of radiation therapy > 90 days, salivary glands within the radiation field. The control group consisted of patients, who had not received radiotherapy. RTOG salivary gland score, quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30 and H and N35), and sialometry were recorded. Results: patients with RTOG score 0 had mean salivary flow rates of 0.3 ml/min, those with RTOG 1 0.12 ml/min, RTOG 2 0.02 ml/min, and RTOG 3 < 0.01 ml/min. RTOG score 4 (total fibrosis) did not occur. Based on salivary flow rates, all patients were grouped into xerostomia < 0.2 ml/min (30 patients) and nonxerostomia (twelve patients). QoL results revealed significant differences between patients with xerostomia and nonxerostomia for physical function, dyspnea, swallowing, social eating, dry mouth, nutritional support, and a tendency to higher values for appetite loss. Conclusion: the correlation between ''subjective'' QoL parameters and salivary flow was confirmed. The different subjective aspects of radioxerostomia seem to be better differentiated by the EORTC QoL questionnaire. (orig.)

  18. Quantifying radioxerostomia: salivary flow rate, examiner's score, and quality of life questionnaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Nawas, B.; Al-Nawas, K.; Kunkel, M.; Groetz, K.A. [Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital of the Johannes Gutenberg Univ., Mainz (Germany)

    2006-06-15

    Background and purpose: salivary flow rates alone are not sufficient to quantify all aspects of radioxerostomia. This is a problem in studies aiming to reduce radioxerostomia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between objectively measured salivary flow rate and subjective xerostomia ratings by the physician (RTOG scale) or the patients (quality of life [QoL] questionnaire). Patients and methods: in a case-control study patients who underwent recall for oral cancer were screened. Inclusion criteria for this diagnostic, noninterventional study were: history of oral carcinoma, surgical and radiation therapy, time interval from start of radiation therapy > 90 days, salivary glands within the radiation field. The control group consisted of patients, who had not received radiotherapy. RTOG salivary gland score, quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30 and H and N35), and sialometry were recorded. Results: patients with RTOG score 0 had mean salivary flow rates of 0.3 ml/min, those with RTOG 1 0.12 ml/min, RTOG 2 0.02 ml/min, and RTOG 3 < 0.01 ml/min. RTOG score 4 (total fibrosis) did not occur. Based on salivary flow rates, all patients were grouped into xerostomia < 0.2 ml/min (30 patients) and nonxerostomia (twelve patients). QoL results revealed significant differences between patients with xerostomia and nonxerostomia for physical function, dyspnea, swallowing, social eating, dry mouth, nutritional support, and a tendency to higher values for appetite loss. Conclusion: the correlation between ''subjective'' QoL parameters and salivary flow was confirmed. The different subjective aspects of radioxerostomia seem to be better differentiated by the EORTC QoL questionnaire. (orig.)

  19. Quality Improvement Methodologies Increase Autologous Blood Product Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodge, Ashley B.; Preston, Thomas J.; Fitch, Jill A.; Harrison, Sheilah K.; Hersey, Diane K.; Nicol, Kathleen K.; Naguib, Aymen N.; McConnell, Patrick I.; Galantowicz, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: Whole blood from the heart–lung (bypass) machine may be processed through a cell salvaging device (i.e., cell saver [CS]) and subsequently administered to the patient during cardiac surgery. It was determined at our institution that CS volume was being discarded. A multidisciplinary team consisting of anesthesiologists, perfusionists, intensive care physicians, quality improvement (QI) professionals, and bedside nurses met to determine the challenges surrounding autologous blood delivery in its entirety. A review of cardiac surgery patients’ charts (n = 21) was conducted for analysis of CS waste. After identification of practices that were leading to CS waste, interventions were designed and implemented. Fishbone diagram, key driver diagram, Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA) cycles, and data collection forms were used throughout this QI process to track and guide progress regarding CS waste. Of patients under 6 kg (n = 5), 80% had wasted CS blood before interventions, whereas those patients larger than 36 kg (n = 8) had 25% wasted CS before interventions. Seventy-five percent of patients under 6 kg who had wasted CS blood received packed red blood cell transfusions in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit within 24 hours of their operation. After data collection and didactic education sessions (PDSA Cycle I), CS blood volume waste was reduced to 5% in all patients. Identification and analysis of the root cause followed by implementation of education, training, and management of change (PDSA Cycle II) resulted in successful use of 100% of all CS blood volume. PMID:24783313

  20. Does Deregulation of Quality Standards in Telecomunications Improve Social Welfare? A Methodological Note Does Deregulation of Quality Standards in Telecomunications Improve Social Welfare? A Methodological Note

    OpenAIRE

    Felipe Morandé

    1990-01-01

    Does Deregulation of Quality Standards in Telecomunications Improve Social Welfare? A Methodological Note One of the main reasons behind the bit difference observed in the per capita number of telephones between develope and developing countries is the high capital cost -a scarce resource in LDC's- of expanding telecommunications infrastructure. A reasonable question to raise in this context is the extent to which that high capital cost of investment could be diminished if international quali...

  1. Methodologic quality of meta-analyses and systematic reviews on the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease outcomes: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huedo-Medina, Tania B; Garcia, Marissa; Bihuniak, Jessica D; Kenny, Anne; Kerstetter, Jane

    2016-03-01

    Several systematic reviews/meta-analyses published within the past 10 y have examined the associations of Mediterranean-style diets (MedSDs) on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. However, these reviews have not been evaluated for satisfying contemporary methodologic quality standards. This study evaluated the quality of recent systematic reviews/meta-analyses on MedSD and CVD risk outcomes by using an established methodologic quality scale. The relation between review quality and impact per publication value of the journal in which the article had been published was also evaluated. To assess compliance with current standards, we applied a modified version of the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTARMedSD) quality scale to systematic reviews/meta-analyses retrieved from electronic databases that had met our selection criteria: 1) used systematic or meta-analytic procedures to review the literature, 2) examined MedSD trials, and 3) had MedSD interventions independently or combined with other interventions. Reviews completely satisfied from 8% to 75% of the AMSTARMedSD items (mean ± SD: 31.2% ± 19.4%), with those published in higher-impact journals having greater quality scores. At a minimum, 60% of the 24 reviews did not disclose full search details or apply appropriate statistical methods to combine study findings. Only 5 of the reviews included participant or study characteristics in their analyses, and none evaluated MedSD diet characteristics. These data suggest that current meta-analyses/systematic reviews evaluating the effect of MedSD on CVD risk do not fully comply with contemporary methodologic quality standards. As a result, there are more research questions to answer to enhance our understanding of how MedSD affects CVD risk or how these effects may be modified by the participant or MedSD characteristics. To clarify the associations between MedSD and CVD risk, future meta-analyses and systematic reviews should not only follow methodologic

  2. Non-Communicable Disease Clinical Practice Guidelines in Brazil: A Systematic Assessment of Methodological Quality and Transparency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline de Godoi Rezende Costa Molino

    Full Text Available Annually, non-communicable diseases (NCDs kill 38 million people worldwide, with low and middle-income countries accounting for three-quarters of these deaths. High-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPGs are fundamental to improving NCD management. The present study evaluated the methodological rigor and transparency of Brazilian CPGs that recommend pharmacological treatment for the most prevalent NCDs.We conducted a systematic search for CPGs of the following NCDs: asthma, atrial fibrillation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and/or stable angina, dementia, depression, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. CPGs comprising pharmacological treatment recommendations were included. No language or year restrictions were applied. CPGs were excluded if they were merely for local use and referred to NCDs not listed above. CPG quality was independently assessed by two reviewers using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation instrument, version II (AGREE II."Scope and purpose" and "clarity and presentation" domains received the highest scores. Sixteen of 26 CPGs were classified as low quality, and none were classified as high overall quality. No CPG was recommended without modification (77% were not recommended at all. After 2009, 2 domain scores ("rigor of development" and "clarity and presentation" increased (61% and 73%, respectively. However, "rigor of development" was still rated < 30%.Brazilian healthcare professionals should be concerned with CPG quality for the treatment of selected NCDs. Features that undermined AGREE II scores included the lack of a multidisciplinary team for the development group, no consideration of patients' preferences, insufficient information regarding literature searches, lack of selection criteria, formulating recommendations, authors' conflict of

  3. Quality of Life Score as a Predictor of Death in Dogs with Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strunz, Célia M C; Marcondes-Santos, Mário; Takada, Julio Yoshio; Fragata, Fernanda S; Mansur, Antônio de Pádua

    2017-04-01

    The knowledge of the variables predicting mortality is important in clinical practice and for therapeutic monitoring in mitral valve disease. To determine whether a quality of life score evaluated with the Functional Evaluation of Cardiac Health questionnaire would predict mortality in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD). Thirty-six client-owned dogs with mitral valve disease underwent clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic evaluations at baseline and were monitored for 6 months. Cardiovascular death was the primary outcome. The 36 dogs were classified as survivors or nonsurvivors. Higher values of the following variables were obtained at baseline in the nonsurviving group (12 dogs): amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels, plasma norepinephrine, heart rate, quality of life score, diastolic left ventricular internal dimension to aortic root ratio, systolic left ventricular internal dimension to aortic root ratio, and left atrium to aortic root ratio. NT-proBNP levels and quality life score were independently associated with death in the multivariable analysis. The quality life score was an independent variable for cardiac death in dogs with DMVD. This result is encouraging, as this score is easy to apply and does not require any technology, only a veterinarian and an observant owner. O conhecimento das variáveis preditoras de mortalidade é importante para a prática clínica e para o acompanhamento terapêutico na doença da valva mitral. Determinar se um escore de qualidade de vida avaliado com o Functional Evaluation of Cardiac Health poderia auxiliar na predição de mortalidade em cães com doença degenerativa da valva mitral (DDVM). Trinta e seis cães de estimação com doença valvar mitral foram submetidos a avaliação clínica, laboratorial e ecocardiográfica no início do estudo e monitorizados durante 6 meses. A morte cardiovascular foi o desfecho primário. Os 36 cães foram classificados como

  4. Survey of the prevalence and methodology of quality assurance for B-mode ultrasound image quality among veterinary sonographers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoscheit, Larry P; Heng, Hock Gan; Lim, Chee Kin; Weng, Hsin-Yi

    2018-05-01

    Image quality in B-mode ultrasound is important as it reflects the diagnostic accuracy and diagnostic information provided during clinical scanning. Quality assurance programs for B-mode ultrasound systems/components are comprised of initial quality acceptance testing and subsequent regularly scheduled quality control testing. The importance of quality assurance programs for B-mode ultrasound image quality using ultrasound phantoms is well documented in the human medical and medical physics literature. The purpose of this prospective, cross-sectional, survey study was to determine the prevalence and methodology of quality acceptance testing and quality control testing of image quality for ultrasound system/components among veterinary sonographers. An online electronic survey was sent to 1497 members of veterinary imaging organizations: the American College of Veterinary Radiology, the Veterinary Ultrasound Society, and the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, and a total of 167 responses were received. The results showed that the percentages of veterinary sonographers performing quality acceptance testing and quality control testing are 42% (64/151; 95% confidence interval 34-52%) and 26% (40/156: 95% confidence interval 19-33%) respectively. Of the respondents who claimed to have quality acceptance testing or quality control testing of image quality in place for their ultrasound system/components, 0% have performed quality acceptance testing or quality control testing correctly (quality acceptance testing 95% confidence interval: 0-6%, quality control testing 95% confidence interval: 0-11%). Further education and guidelines are recommended for veterinary sonographers in the area of quality acceptance testing and quality control testing for B-mode ultrasound equipment/components. © 2018 American College of Veterinary Radiology.

  5. Methodological quality and descriptive characteristics of prosthodontic-related systematic reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, T; Compton, S; Nassar, U; Matthews, D; Ansari, K; Flores-Mir, C

    2013-04-01

    Ideally, healthcare systematic reviews (SRs) should be beneficial to practicing professionals in making evidence-based clinical decisions. However, the conclusions drawn from SRs are directly related to the quality of the SR and of the included studies. The aim was to investigate the methodological quality and key descriptive characteristics of SRs published in prosthodontics. Methodological quality was analysed using the Assessment of Multiple Reviews (AMSTAR) tool. Several electronic resources (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and American Dental Association's Evidence-based Dentistry website) were searched. In total 106 SRs were located. Key descriptive characteristics and methodological quality features were gathered and assessed, and descriptive and inferential statistical testing performed. Most SRs in this sample originated from the European continent followed by North America. Two to five authors conducted most SRs; the majority was affiliated with academic institutions and had prior experience publishing SRs. The majority of SRs were published in specialty dentistry journals, with implant or implant-related topics, the primary topics of interest for most. According to AMSTAR, most quality aspects were adequately fulfilled by less than half of the reviews. Publication bias and grey literature searches were the most poorly adhered components. Overall, the methodological quality of the prosthodontic-related systematic was deemed limited. Future recommendations would include authors to have prior training in conducting SRs and for journals to include a universal checklist that should be adhered to address all key characteristics of an unbiased SR process. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Identifying approaches for assessing methodological and reporting quality of systematic reviews

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pussegoda, Kusala; Turner, Lucy; Garritty, Chantelle

    2017-01-01

    there are potential gaps in research best-practice guidance materials. The aims of this study are to identify reports assessing the methodological quality (MQ) and/or reporting quality (RQ) of a cohort of SRs and to assess their number, general characteristics, and approaches to 'quality' assessment over time......BACKGROUND: The methodological quality and completeness of reporting of the systematic reviews (SRs) is fundamental to optimal implementation of evidence-based health care and the reduction of research waste. Methods exist to appraise SRs yet little is known about how they are used in SRs or where...... or reporting guidelines used as proxy to assess RQ were used in 80% (61/76) of identified reports. These included two reporting guidelines (PRISMA and QUOROM) and five quality assessment tools (AMSTAR, R-AMSTAR, OQAQ, Mulrow, Sacks) and GRADE criteria. The remaining 24% (18/76) of reports developed their own...

  7. Translation and validation of the Danish version of the postoperative quality of recovery score QoR-15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kleif, J; Edwards, H M; Sort, R

    2015-01-01

    .12 to -0.43, P half reliability was 0.90 and 0.88. Test-retest reliability was 0.99 (95% CI: 0......BACKGROUND: Patient perceived quality of recovery is an important outcome after surgery and should be measured in clinical trials. Quality of recovery after surgery and general anaesthesia can be measured by the QoR-15. A high score indicates a good recovery and the score ranges from 0 to 150...

  8. Paediatric early warning scores on a children's ward: a quality improvement initiative.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Ennis, Linda

    2014-09-09

    The aim of this quality improvement initiative was to incorporate a paediatric early warning score (PEWS) and track and trigger system in the routine care of children in an acute general children\\'s ward at a regional hospital in the Republic of Ireland. In the absence of a nationally recommended specific PEWS strategy, a local plan was developed. The experience of structuring and implementing the PEWS and track and trigger system is presented in this article. Data from the first year of use were collected to evaluate the clinical utility and effectiveness of this system. In the busy acute children\\'s service, the PEWS initiative was found to benefit processes of early detection, prompt referral and timely, appropriate management of children at potential risk of clinical deterioration. Nursing staff were empowered and supported to communicate concerns immediately and to seek rapid medical review, according to an agreed PEWS escalation plan. Outcomes were significantly improved.

  9. Index admission laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis restores Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI) score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hongyan; Chan, Esther Ern-Hwei; Lingam, Pravin; Lee, Jingwen; Woon, Winston Wei Liang; Low, Jee Keem; Shelat, Vishal G

    2018-02-01

    Previous studies have evaluated quality of life (QoL) in patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for cholelithiasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate QoL after index admission LC in patients diagnosed with acute cholecystitis (AC) using the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI) questionnaire. Patients ≥21 years admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore for AC and who underwent index admission LC between February 2015 and January 2016 were evaluated using the GIQLI questionnaire preoperatively and 30 days postoperatively. A total of 51 patients (26 males, 25 females) with a mean age of 60 years (24-86 years) were included. Median duration of abdominal pain at presentation was 2 days (1-21 days). 45% of patients had existing comorbidities, with diabetes mellitus being most common (33%). 31% were classified as mild AC, 59% as moderate and 10% as severe AC according to Tokyo Guideline 2013 (TG13) criteria. Post-operative complications were observed in 8 patients, including retained common bile duct stone (n=1), wound infection (n=2), bile leakage (n=2), intra-abdominal collection (n=1) and atrial fibrillation (n=2). 86% patients were well at 30 days follow-up and were discharged. A significant improvement in GIQLI score was observed postoperatively, with mean total GIQLI score increasing from 106.0±16.9 (101.7-112.1) to 120.4±18.0 (114.8-125.9) ( p <0.001). Significant improvements were also observed in GIQLI subgroups of gastrointestinal symptoms, physical status, emotional status and social function status. Index admission LC restores QoL in patients with AC as measured by GIQLI questionnaire.

  10. Negative emotions affect postoperative scores for evaluating functional knee recovery and quality of life after total knee replacement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Qi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine whether psychological factors affect health-related quality of life (HRQL and recovery of knee function in total knee replacement (TKR patients. A total of 119 TKR patients (male: 38; female: 81 completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-revised (EPQR-S, Knee Society Score (KSS, and HRQL (SF-36. At 1 and 6 months after surgery, anxiety, depression, and KSS scores in TKR patients were significantly better compared with those preoperatively (P<0.05. SF-36 scores at the sixth month after surgery were significantly improved compared with preoperative scores (P<0.001. Preoperative Physical Component Summary Scale (PCS and Mental Component Summary Scale (MCS scores were negatively associated with extraversion (E score (B=-0.986 and -0.967, respectively, both P<0.05. Postoperative PCS and State Anxiety Inventory (SAI scores were negatively associated with neuroticism (N score; B=-0.137 and -0.991, respectively, both P<0.05. Postoperative MCS, SAI, Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI, and BAI scores were also negatively associated with the N score (B=-0.367, -0.107, -0.281, and -0.851, respectively, all P<0.05. The KSS function score at the sixth month after surgery was negatively associated with TAI and N scores (B=-0.315 and -0.532, respectively, both P<0.05, but positively associated with the E score (B=0.215, P<0.05. The postoperative KSS joint score was positively associated with postoperative PCS (B=0.356, P<0.05. In conclusion, for TKR patients, the scores used for evaluating recovery of knee function and HRQL after 6 months are inversely associated with the presence of negative emotions.

  11. The microcirculation image quality score: development and preliminary evaluation of a proposed approach to grading quality of image acquisition for bedside videomicroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Michael J; Larochelle, Ethan; Najarro, Gabriel; Karmacharla, Adarsh; Arnold, Ryan; Trzeciak, Stephen; Angus, Derek C; Shapiro, Nathan I

    2013-12-01

    Side-stream dark-field microscopy is currently used to directly visualize sublingual microcirculation at the bedside. Our experience has found inherent technical challenges in the image acquisition process. This article presents and assesses a quality assurance method to rate image acquisition quality before analysis. We identified 6 common image capture and analysis problem areas in sublingual side-stream dark-field videos: illumination, duration, focus, content, stability, and pressure. We created the "Microcirculation Image Quality Score" by assigning a score of optimal (0 points), suboptimal but acceptable (1 point), or unacceptable (10 points) to each category (for further details, go to http://www.MicroscanAnalysis.blogspot.com). We evaluated 59 videos from a convenience sample of 34 unselected, noncritically ill emergency department patients to create a test set. Two raters, blinded to each other, implemented the score. Any video with a cumulative score of 10 or higher (range, 0-60) was considered unacceptable for further analysis. We created the Microcirculation Image Quality Score and applied it to 59 videos. For this particular set of 59 videos, the mean (SD) passing quality score was 1.68 (0.90), and the mean (SD) failing quality score was 15.74 (6.19), with 27 of 59 passing the quality score less than 10. Highest failure occurred from pressure artifact. The interrater agreement for acceptability was assessed using Cohen κ for each category: illumination (κ = 1.0), duration (κ = 1.0), focus (κ = 0.91), content (κ = 0.76), stability (κ = 0.71), and pressure (κ = 0.82) and overall pass-fail rates (score >10) (κ = 0.66). Our Microcirculation Image Quality Score addresses many of the common areas where video quality can degrade. The criteria introduced are an objective way to assess the quality of image acquisition, with the goal of selecting videos of adequate quality for analysis. The interrater reliability results in our preliminary study suggest

  12. #eVALUate: Monetizing Service Acquisition Trade-offs Using the QUALITY-INFUSED Price Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    they determine their source selection methodology along the best-value spectrum, ranging from lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) to full...sidering factors determined to be germane to service value to the agency (Finkenstadt, 2015). Once an offeror’s prices are determined to be fair and... determine whether the quality rating system would affect the quality trade-off. In this case, the highest priced yet highest rated offeror was selected

  13. Guidance on assessing the methodological and reporting quality of toxicologically relevant studies: A scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Gbeminiyi O; Hoffmann, Sebastian; Wright, Robert A; Lalu, Manoj Mathew; Patlewicz, Grace; Becker, Richard A; DeGeorge, George L; Fergusson, Dean; Hartung, Thomas; Lewis, R Jeffrey; Stephens, Martin L

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of methodological and reporting quality are critical to adequately judging the credibility of a study's conclusions and to gauging its potential reproducibility. To aid those seeking to assess the methodological or reporting quality of studies relevant to toxicology, we conducted a scoping review of the available guidance with respect to four types of studies: in vivo and in vitro, (quantitative) structure-activity relationships ([Q]SARs), physico-chemical, and human observational studies. Our aims were to identify the available guidance in this diverse literature, briefly summarize each document, and distill the common elements of these documents for each study type. In general, we found considerable guidance for in vivo and human studies, but only one paper addressed in vitro studies exclusively. The guidance for (Q)SAR studies and physico-chemical studies was scant but authoritative. There was substantial overlap across guidance documents in the proposed criteria for both methodological and reporting quality. Some guidance documents address toxicology research directly, whereas others address preclinical research generally or clinical research and therefore may not be fully applicable to the toxicology context without some translation. Another challenge is the degree to which assessments of methodological quality in toxicology should focus on risk of bias - as in clinical medicine and healthcare - or be broadened to include other quality measures, such as confirming the identity of test substances prior to exposure. Our review is intended primarily for those in toxicology and risk assessment seeking an entry point into the extensive and diverse literature on methodological and reporting quality applicable to their work. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Translating Oral Health-Related Quality of Life Measures: Are There Alternative Methodologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brondani, Mario; He, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Translating existing sociodental indicators to another language involves a rigorous methodology, which can be costly. Free-of-charge online translator tools are available, but have not been evaluated in the context of research involving quality of life measures. To explore the value of using online translator tools to develop oral health-related…

  15. The methodological quality of economic evaluation studies in obstetrics and gynecology: a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijgen, Sylvia M. C.; Opmeer, Brent C.; Mol, Ben Willem J.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated the methodological quality of economic evaluation studies in the field of obstetrics and gynecology published in the last decade. A MEDLINE search was performed to find economic evaluation studies in obstetrics and gynecology from the years 1997 through 2009. We included full economic

  16. Development of Management Quality Assessment Methodology in the Public Sector: Problems and Contradictions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Vladimirovna Kozhevina

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The development management quality assessment methodology in the public sector is relevant scientific and practical problem of economic research. The utilization of the results of the assessment on the basis of the authors’ methodology allows us to rate the public sector organizations, to justify decisions on the reorganization and privatization, and to monitor changes in the level of the management quality of the public sector organizations. The study determined the place of the quality of the control processes of the public sector organization in the system of “Quality of public administration — the effective operation of the public sector organization,” the contradictions associated with the assessment of management quality are revealed, the conditions for effective functioning of the public sector organizations are proved, a mechanism of comprehensive assessment and algorithm for constructing and evaluating the control models of management quality are developed, the criteria for assessing the management quality in the public sector organizations, including economic, budgetary, social and public, informational, innovation and institutional criteria are empirically grounded. By utilizing the proposed algorithm, the assessment model of quality management in the public sector organizations, including the financial, economic, social, innovation, informational and institutional indicators is developed. For each indicator of quality management, the coefficients of importance in the management quality assessment model, as well as comprehensive and partial evaluation indicators are determined on the basis of the expert evaluations. The main conclusion of the article is that management quality assessment for the public sector organizations should be based not only on the indicators achieved in the dynamics and utilized for analyzing the effectiveness of management, but also should take into account the reference levels for the values of these

  17. Longitudinal beta regression models for analyzing health-related quality of life scores over time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hunger Matthias

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health-related quality of life (HRQL has become an increasingly important outcome parameter in clinical trials and epidemiological research. HRQL scores are typically bounded at both ends of the scale and often highly skewed. Several regression techniques have been proposed to model such data in cross-sectional studies, however, methods applicable in longitudinal research are less well researched. This study examined the use of beta regression models for analyzing longitudinal HRQL data using two empirical examples with distributional features typically encountered in practice. Methods We used SF-6D utility data from a German older age cohort study and stroke-specific HRQL data from a randomized controlled trial. We described the conceptual differences between mixed and marginal beta regression models and compared both models to the commonly used linear mixed model in terms of overall fit and predictive accuracy. Results At any measurement time, the beta distribution fitted the SF-6D utility data and stroke-specific HRQL data better than the normal distribution. The mixed beta model showed better likelihood-based fit statistics than the linear mixed model and respected the boundedness of the outcome variable. However, it tended to underestimate the true mean at the upper part of the distribution. Adjusted group means from marginal beta model and linear mixed model were nearly identical but differences could be observed with respect to standard errors. Conclusions Understanding the conceptual differences between mixed and marginal beta regression models is important for their proper use in the analysis of longitudinal HRQL data. Beta regression fits the typical distribution of HRQL data better than linear mixed models, however, if focus is on estimating group mean scores rather than making individual predictions, the two methods might not differ substantially.

  18. Application of a simple, affordable quality metric tool to colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, hernia, and hepatobiliary surgery patients: the HARM score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Justin T; Ko, Bona; Hohmann, Samuel F; Crawshaw, Benjamin P; Leinicke, Jennifer A; Steele, Scott R; Augestad, Knut M; Delaney, Conor P

    2018-06-01

    Quality is the major driver for both clinical and financial assessment. There remains a need for simple, affordable, quality metric tools to evaluate patient outcomes, which led us to develop the HospitAl length of stay, Readmission and Mortality (HARM) score. We hypothesized that the HARM score would be a reliable tool to assess patient outcomes across various surgical specialties. From 2011 to 2015, we identified colorectal, hepatobiliary, upper gastrointestinal, and hernia surgery admissions using the Vizient Clinical Database. Individual and hospital HARM scores were calculated from length of stay, 30-day readmission, and mortality rates. We evaluated the correlation of HARM scores with complication rates using the Clavien-Dindo classification. We identified 525,083 surgical patients: 206,981 colorectal, 164,691 hepatobiliary, 97,157 hernia, and 56,254 upper gastrointestinal. Overall, 53.8% of patients were admitted electively with a mean HARM score of 2.24; 46.2% were admitted emergently with a mean HARM score of 1.45 (p  4 (p  4, complication rates were 9.3, 23.2, 38.8, and 71.6%, respectively. There was a similar trend for increasing HARM score in emergent admissions as well. For all surgical procedure categories, increasing HARM score, with and without risk adjustment, correlated with increasing severity of complications by Clavien-Dindo classification. The HARM score is an easy-to-use quality metric that correlates with increasing complication rates and complication severity across multiple surgical disciplines when evaluated on a large administrative database. This inexpensive tool could be adopted across multiple institutions to compare the quality of surgical care.

  19. Food-based diet quality score in relation to depressive symptoms in young and middle-aged Japanese women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Hiroka; Murakami, Kentaro; Kobayashi, Satomi; Suga, Hitomi; Sasaki, Satoshi

    2017-06-01

    Only a few studies have focused on the association between overall diet, rather than intakes of individual nutrients or foods, and depressive symptoms in Japanese. This cross-sectional study examined associations between a diet quality score and depressive symptoms in 3963 young (age 18 years) and 3833 middle-aged (mean age 47·9 (sd 4·2) years) Japanese women. Dietary information was collected using a diet history questionnaire. A previously developed diet quality score was computed mainly based on the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 22·0 % for young women and 16·8 % for middle-aged women, assessed as a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) score ≥23 and ≥19, respectively. As expected, the diet quality score was associated positively with intakes of 'grain dishes', 'vegetable dishes', 'fish and meat dishes', 'milk' and 'fruits' and inversely with intakes of energy from 'snacks, confection and beverages' and Na from seasonings. After adjustment for potential confounders, OR for depressive symptoms in the highest v. lowest quintiles of the diet quality score was 0·65 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·84) in young women (P for trend=0·0005). In middle-aged women, the corresponding value was 0·59 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·78) (P for trenddiet quality and CES-D scores were treated as continuous variables also showed inverse associations. In conclusion, this cross-sectional study showed that a higher diet quality score was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in young and middle-aged Japanese women. Prospective studies are needed to confirm a public health relevance of this finding.

  20. Application of Taguchi methodology to improve the functional quality of a mechanical device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Regeai, Awatef Omar

    2005-01-01

    Manufacturing and quality control are recognized branches of engineering management. special attention has been made to improve thr tools and methods for the purpose of improving the products quality and finding solutions for any Obstacles and/or problems during the production process. Taguchi methodology is one of the most powerful techniques for improving product and manufacturing process quality at low cost. It is a strategical and practical method that aims to assist managers and industrial engineers to tackle manufacturing quality problems in a systematic and structured manner. The potential benefit of Taguchi methodology lies in its ease of use, its emphasis on reducing variability to give more economical products and hence the accessibility to the engineering fraternity for solving real life quality problems. This study applies Taguchi methodology to improve the functional quality of a local made chain gear by a purposed heat treatment process. The hardness of steel is generally a function not of its composition only, but rather of its heat treatment. The study investigates the effects of various heat treatment parameters, including ramp rate of heating, normalizing holding time, normalizing temperature, annealing holding time, annealing temperature, hardening holding time, hardening temperature, quenching media, tempering temperature and tempering holding time upon the hardness, which is a measure of resistance to plastic deformation. Both the analysis of means (ANOM) and Signal to Noise ratio (S/N) have been carried out for determining the optimal condition of the process. A significant improvement of the functional quality characteristic (hardness) by more than 32% was obtained. The Scanning Electron Microscopy technique was used in this study to obtain visual evidence of the quality and continuous improvement of the heat treated samples. (author)

  1. Application of quality improvement analytic methodology in emergency medicine research: A comparative evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, Bruce; Filiatrault, Lyne; Abu-Laban, Riyad B

    2018-05-30

    Quality improvement (QI) analytic methodology is rarely encountered in the emergency medicine literature. We sought to comparatively apply QI design and analysis techniques to an existing data set, and discuss these techniques as an alternative to standard research methodology for evaluating a change in a process of care. We used data from a previously published randomized controlled trial on triage-nurse initiated radiography using the Ottawa ankle rules (OAR). QI analytic tools were applied to the data set from this study and evaluated comparatively against the original standard research methodology. The original study concluded that triage nurse-initiated radiographs led to a statistically significant decrease in mean emergency department length of stay. Using QI analytic methodology, we applied control charts and interpreted the results using established methods that preserved the time sequence of the data. This analysis found a compelling signal of a positive treatment effect that would have been identified after the enrolment of 58% of the original study sample, and in the 6th month of this 11-month study. Our comparative analysis demonstrates some of the potential benefits of QI analytic methodology. We found that had this approach been used in the original study, insights regarding the benefits of nurse-initiated radiography using the OAR would have been achieved earlier, and thus potentially at a lower cost. In situations where the overarching aim is to accelerate implementation of practice improvement to benefit future patients, we believe that increased consideration should be given to the use of QI analytic methodology.

  2. Systematic Review of the Application of Lean and Six Sigma Quality Improvement Methodologies in Radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaratunga, Thelina; Dobranowski, Julian

    2016-09-01

    Preventable yet clinically significant rates of medical error remain systemic, while health care spending is at a historic high. Industry-based quality improvement (QI) methodologies show potential for utility in health care and radiology because they use an empirical approach to reduce variability and improve workflow. The aim of this review was to systematically assess the literature with regard to the use and efficacy of Lean and Six Sigma (the most popular of the industrial QI methodologies) within radiology. MEDLINE, the Allied & Complementary Medicine Database, Embase Classic + Embase, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, and the Ovid HealthStar database, alongside the Cochrane Library databases, were searched on June 2015. Empirical studies in peer-reviewed journals were included if they assessed the use of Lean, Six Sigma, or Lean Six Sigma with regard to their ability to improve a variety of quality metrics in a radiology-centered clinical setting. Of the 278 articles returned, 23 studies were suitable for inclusion. Of these, 10 assessed Six Sigma, 7 assessed Lean, and 6 assessed Lean Six Sigma. The diverse range of measured outcomes can be organized into 7 common aims: cost savings, reducing appointment wait time, reducing in-department wait time, increasing patient volume, reducing cycle time, reducing defects, and increasing staff and patient safety and satisfaction. All of the included studies demonstrated improvements across a variety of outcomes. However, there were high rates of systematic bias and imprecision as per the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation guidelines. Lean and Six Sigma QI methodologies have the potential to reduce error and costs and improve quality within radiology. However, there is a pressing need to conduct high-quality studies in order to realize the true potential of these QI methodologies in health care and radiology. Recommendations on how to improve the quality of the literature are proposed

  3. [Types of medical registries - definitions, methodological aspects and quality of the scientific work with registries].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis-Edenhofer, Stefan; Piso, Brigitte

    2011-12-01

    This work presents a comprehensive list of registry definitions including broader and narrower definitions. Compared to each other different methodological issues can be identified. Some of these issues are common for all registry types; some can be assigned more easily to a specific registry type. Instruments for evaluating the quality of registers reflect many of the mentioned aspects. Generally, and especially at registers with a descriptive or exploratory research dimension it is important to consider their intended purpose and in about it was achieved. This includes, for instance, whether the purpose and the methodology are coordinated. From the start of registration an initiator should be - based on the purpose - aware of the methodological dimension of the registry. This helps to apply the correct type of the registry, the appropriate guidance and, ultimately, the arguments for the effort (cost-benefit ratio).

  4. The implementation methodology of Total Quality Management in health services, as a best practice operation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodora Malamou

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Total Quality Management – TQM (Total Quality Management-TQM, health services, is a modern management philosophy to improve the quality and efficiency of the organization as a whole, with the involvement of all employees, at all levels. According to the research data, the concept of quality is distinguished in technical, interpersonal quality and hotel infrastructure and focuses on patient satisfaction. The Critical success factors of TQM, organizations for business excellence in continuous competitive changing environment, is the management commitment, customer focus, constant communication with employees, encouragement and reward, education and scientific training, continuous improvement quality of service, interdependent relationships with suppliers, active employee participation, creation of representative indicators, targets and benchmarking, continuous outcome assessment and continuous review, review of program procedures. The purpose of this article is through the review of Greek and international literature, to introduce the methodology of a project TQM, to health services, as everyday best practice, with emphasis on quality of service. According to the literature review, TQM contributes to improving the quality of health services, the cultivation of team spirit, cooperation between health professionals and leadership, with a view to satisfy all. TQM is purely anthropocentric theory of organization and administration. We need comprehensive effort approach to improving the quality of leadership and the introduction of the culture of workers.

  5. Methodological quality of quantitative lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender nursing research from 2000 to 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael; Smyer, Tish; Yucha, Carolyn

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the methodological quality of quantitative lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender nursing research from 2000 to 2010. Using a key word search in Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, 188 studies were identified and 40 met the criteria, which included descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental, or observational (case control, cohort, and cross-sectional) design. The methodological quality of these studies was similar to that reported for medical and nursing educational research. The foci of these lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies were biased toward human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and sexually transmitted diseases, and 58.5% of the funded research was related to human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. To provide evidence-based health care to these populations, an understanding of the current state of research is crucial.

  6. Proposal of a methodology for quality control in thermoluminescent dosimetry laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feital, Joao Carlos da S.; Almeida, Claudio Domingues de; Bezerra, Marcos A.

    2005-01-01

    Taken into account that in thermoluminescence dosimetry adequate selection procedures as well as accurate TLD readings are necessary, this paper presents results of methodology that can be applied as part of quality control programs in thermoluminescence dosimetry laboratories. For the experiment, a set of 200 TLDs ( LiF 100 ) were used and 9 from which were selected, a standard source of Cs -137 , a PTW kiln, a TL 'Harshaw' reader - model 5500 operating under the 'Win Rem' software and a Sr 90 / Y 90 'Bicron' irradiator. In the proceeding the selected dosimeters were irradiated and read 28 times during 18 months, then by one of the standard deviation properties, values up to 14 % were found, for a confidence level of 95 %. The results found and the bibliographic data related to the responses (arbitrary reading) in the crystals used in TLDs, have shown that this methodology can be applied in quality control programs. (author)

  7. Report on Use of a Methodology for Commissioning and Quality Assurance of a VMAT System

    OpenAIRE

    Mayo, Charles; Fong de los Santos, Luis; Kruse, Jon; Blackwell, Charles R.; McLemore, Luke B.; Pafundi, Deanna; Stoker, Joshua; Herman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Results of use of methodology for VMAT commissioning and quality assurance, utilizing both control point tests and dosimetric measurements are presented. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A generalizable, phantom measurement approach is used to characterize the accuracy of the measurement system. Correction for angular response of the measurement system and inclusion of couch structures are used to characterize the full range gantry angles desirable for clinical plans. A dose based daily Q...

  8. APPLICATION OF LOT QUALITY ASSURANCE SAMPLING FOR ASSESSING DISEASE CONTROL PROGRAMMES - EXAMINATION OF SOME METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES

    OpenAIRE

    T. R. RAMESH RAO

    2011-01-01

    Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS), a statistical tool in industrial setup, has been in use since 1980 for monitoring and evaluation of programs on disease control / immunization status among children / health workers performance in health system. While conducting LQAS in the field, there are occasions, even after due care of design, there are practical and methodological issues to be addressed before it is recommended for implementation and intervention. LQAS is applied under the assumpti...

  9. The sum of friends’ and lovers’ self-control scores predicts relationship quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vohs, K.D.; Finkenauer, C.; Baumeister, R.F.

    2011-01-01

    What combination of partners' trait self-control levels produces the best relationship outcomes? The authors tested three hypotheses-complementarity (large difference in trait self-control scores), similarity (small difference in self-control scores), and totality (large sum of self-control

  10. Incorporating Learning Characteristics into Automatic Essay Scoring Models: What Individual Differences and Linguistic Features Tell Us about Writing Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Scott A.; Allen, Laura K.; Snow, Erica L.; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates a novel approach to automatically assessing essay quality that combines natural language processing approaches that assess text features with approaches that assess individual differences in writers such as demographic information, standardized test scores, and survey results. The results demonstrate that combining text…

  11. Identification of the optimal donor quality scoring system and measure of early renal function in kidney transplantation.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Moore, Jason

    2009-02-27

    The early identification of kidney allografts at risk of later dysfunction has implications for clinical practice. Donor quality scoring systems (preoperative) and measures of early allograft function (first week postoperative) have previously shown practical utility. This study aimed to determine the optimal parameter(s) (preoperative and postoperative) with greatest predictive power for the development of subsequent allograft dysfunction.

  12. A methodology to improve higher education quality using the quality function deployment and analytic hierarchy process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raharjo, H.; Xie, M.; Goh, T.N.; Brombacher, A.C.

    2007-01-01

    In order to formulate an effective strategic plan in a customer-driven education context, it is important to recognize who the customers are and what they want. Using Quality Function Deployment (QFD), this information can be translated into strategies to achieve customer satisfaction. Since the

  13. SF-36 total score as a single measure of health-related quality of life: Scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lins, Liliane; Carvalho, Fernando Martins

    2016-01-01

    According to the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey questionnaire developers, a global measure of health-related quality of life such as the "SF-36 Total/Global/Overall Score" cannot be generated from the questionnaire. However, studies keep on reporting such measure. This study aimed to evaluate the frequency and to describe some characteristics of articles reporting the SF-36 Total/Global/Overall Score in the scientific literature. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses method was adapted to a scoping review. We performed searches in PubMed, Web of Science, SCOPUS, BVS, and Cochrane Library databases for articles using such scores. We found 172 articles published between 1997 and 2015; 110 (64.0%) of them were published from 2010 onwards; 30.0% appeared in journals with Impact Factor 3.00 or greater. Overall, 129 (75.0%) out of the 172 studies did not specify the method for calculating the "SF-36 Total Score"; 13 studies did not specify their methods but referred to the SF-36 developers' studies or others; and 30 articles used different strategies for calculating such score, the most frequent being arithmetic averaging of the eight SF-36 domains scores. We concluded that the "SF-36 Total/Global/Overall Score" has been increasingly reported in the scientific literature. Researchers should be aware of this procedure and of its possible impacts upon human health.

  14. METHODOLOGY OF DETERMINATION OF QUALITY INDEX OF MAINTENANCE SERVICE SYSTEM OF POWER EQUIPMENT OF TRACTION SUBSTATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.O. Matusevych

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The purpose of this paper is development of methodology for definition of a quality system of maintenance and repair (M and P power equipment of traction substations (TS of electrified railways operating under conditions of uncertainty based on expert information. Methodology. The basic tenets of the theory of fuzzy sets and marks, linguistic and interval estimates of experts were applied to solve this problem. Results. Analysis of the existing diversity of approaches to development of modern methods of improvement of M and P allows us to conclude that the improvement in the quality of the system is achieved by solving individual problems increase the operational reliability of power equipment of traction substations in the following main interrelated areas. There are technical, economic and organizational. The basis of the quality evaluation system is initial data and expertise developed version of the document formalized quality evaluation of electrical equipment of traction substations by experts. The choice of determining the level of Quality service system based on the marks, linguistic and interval estimates of experts, which are reflected in quantitative and / or qualitative form was done. The possible options for expert data presentation and their corresponding quantitative methods of calculating the integral index of quality improvement system maintenance and P of traction substations were described. The methodology and the method of assessing the quality of system maintenance and P of TS allows quickly respond to changing operating conditions of power equipment of traction substations, and to determine the most effective strategies for maintenance of electrical and P TS under conditions of uncertainty functioning distance electricity. Originality. The method of a systematic approach to improve the quality of the system maintenance and P of power equipment of traction substation under conditions of uncertainty based on expert

  15. [Results of applying a paediatric early warning score system as a healthcare quality improvement plan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivero-Martín, M J; Prieto-Martínez, S; García-Solano, M; Montilla-Pérez, M; Tena-Martín, E; Ballesteros-García, M M

    2016-06-01

    The aims of this study were to introduce a paediatric early warning score (PEWS) into our daily clinical practice, as well as to evaluate its ability to detect clinical deterioration in children admitted, and to train nursing staff to communicate the information and response effectively. An analysis was performed on the implementation of PEWS in the electronic health records of children (0-15 years) in our paediatric ward from February 2014 to September 2014. The maximum score was 6. Nursing staff reviewed scores >2, and if >3 medical and nursing staff reviewed it. Monitoring indicators: % of admissions with scoring; % of complete data capture; % of scores >3; % of scores >3 reviewed by medical staff, % of changes in treatment due to the warning system, and number of patients who needed Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) admission, or died without an increased warning score. The data were collected from all patients (931) admitted. The scale was measured 7,917 times, with 78.8% of them with complete data capture. Very few (1.9%) showed scores >3, and 14% of them with changes in clinical management (intensifying treatment or new diagnostic tests). One patient (scored 2) required PICU admission. There were no deaths. Parents or nursing staff concern was registered in 80% of cases. PEWS are useful to provide a standardised assessment of clinical status in the inpatient setting, using a unique scale and implementing data capture. Because of the lack of severe complications requiring PICU admission and deaths, we will have to use other data to evaluate these scales. Copyright © 2016 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  16. Factor Analysis in Assessing the Research Methodology Quality of Systematic Reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrada Elena URDA-CÎMPEAN

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Many high quality systematic reviews available from medical journals, data bases and other electronic sources differ in quality and provide different answers to the same question. The literature recommended the use of a checklist type approach, which exceeds many of the problems associated with measurements. Aim: This study proposes to identify in a checklist type approach the most commonly used factors (from a methodological point of view in assessing the quality of systematic reviews, and then mirror the actual stage of medical writing. We want to analyze the factors’ occurrence and / or their development in the text and in the abstract of systematic reviews published in 2011. Methods: The present study randomly selected only free full text systematic reviews published in 2011, systematic reviews found in Pubmed and in Cochrane Database. The most commonly used factors were identified in PRISMA statement and quality measurement tools. Results: The evaluated systematic reviews mentioned or developed several of the factors studied. Only 78% of the papers surveyed have used the correct IMRAD format and 59% of them have mentioned the sample size used. The correspondence between the content of the paper and its abstract is summarized in the proportion of 54.63% and 51.85% for the two sets of factors, and it can lead to scarce appreciation of the article provided that only abstracts are read. Conclusions: Researchers do not properly take into consideration scientific articles and assessment tools used for quality evaluation. They should place more value over methodological factors which help assess systematic review quality, while journals form the only party who can enforce quality standards in medical writing.

  17. The implementation of the Quality Costs Methodology in the Public Transport Enterprise in Macedonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeta Mitreva

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of TQM (Total Quality Management strategy in the public transport enterprises in Macedonia means improving the quality of services through examination of business processes not just in terms of defining, improvement and design of the process, but also improvement of productivity and optimization of the costs of quality. The purpose of this study is to point out the importance of determining the quality of the transport services, its methods, and techniques for measurement of the optimization of business processes in particular. The analysis of the quality costs when providing transport services can help managers to understand the impact of poor quality on the financial results and the bad image it gives to the enterprise. In this study, we proposed and applied the model for better performance and higher efficiency of the transport enterprise, through the optimization of business processes, change in the corporate culture and use of the complete business potentials. The need for this methodology was imposed as a result of the analysis made in the company in terms of whether is it doing an analysis on the costs of quality or not. The benefits from the utilization of this model will not only lead to increasing the business performance of the transport enterprise, but this model will also serve as a driving force for continuous improvements to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

  18. The Methodological Approaches to Formation of the Internal System of Quality of Education of Higher Education Institution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doronin Stepan A.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The necessity of creation of a national conception of formation of the internal system of quality assurance of higher education institutions with obligatory introduction of methodological approach in its structure is substantiated; the variant of its terminological provision with clarification of the content of concepts of «quality of education», «internal system of quality of education», «methodological approach» is proposed; positioning of the approach in the system of other standard scientific instruments (method, methodology, program, algorithm is done; arguments for the orientation of the methodology of formation of the internal system of quality assurance of higher education institutions towards the socio-cultural model of paradigm are provided; a hierarchical classification of methodological approaches with allocation of the philosophical, scientific, concrete-scientific, technological levels and the characteristics of their purpose and contents is presented.

  19. Predicting automatic speech recognition performance over communication channels from instrumental speech quality and intelligibility scores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gallardo, L.F.; Möller, S.; Beerends, J.

    2017-01-01

    The performance of automatic speech recognition based on coded-decoded speech heavily depends on the quality of the transmitted signals, determined by channel impairments. This paper examines relationships between speech recognition performance and measurements of speech quality and intelligibility

  20. Quality at the source (QATS) system design under six sigma methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aguirre, F; Ballasteros, I; Maricalva, J [Emperesa Nacional del Uranio, S.A. (ENUSA), Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing Plant, Juzbado, Salamanca (Spain)

    2000-07-01

    One of the main objectives in the manufacturing of fuel assemblies, is to fulfill the customer expectations with a product that assures its reliability during its stay in the NPP. By mean of the QATS System design under 6-Sigma methodology, all the customer requirements are included in the product specifications and drawings. Product characteristics and process variables are classified and process capability is evaluated. All this information permits to identify CTQ's (Critical to Quality) product characteristics and process variables, and to define a quality system (QATS) based in the process and on-line characteristics control handled by the manufacturing workers. At the end, this system ensures a continuous product quality improvement, and a strong commitment with the customer requirements. (author)

  1. Quality at the source (QATS) system design under six sigma methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguirre, F.; Ballasteros, I.; Maricalva, J.

    2000-01-01

    One of the main objectives in the manufacturing of fuel assemblies, is to fulfill the customer expectations with a product that assures its reliability during its stay in the NPP. By mean of the QATS System design under 6-Sigma methodology, all the customer requirements are included in the product specifications and drawings. Product characteristics and process variables are classified and process capability is evaluated. All this information permits to identify CTQ's (Critical to Quality) product characteristics and process variables, and to define a quality system (QATS) based in the process and on-line characteristics control handled by the manufacturing workers. At the end, this system ensures a continuous product quality improvement, and a strong commitment with the customer requirements. (author)

  2. Development of a methodology for automated assessment of the quality of digitized images in mammography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santana, Priscila do Carmo

    2010-01-01

    The process of evaluating the quality of radiographic images in general, and mammography in particular, can be much more accurate, practical and fast with the help of computer analysis tools. The purpose of this study is to develop a computational methodology to automate the process of assessing the quality of mammography images through techniques of digital imaging processing (PDI), using an existing image processing environment (ImageJ). With the application of PDI techniques was possible to extract geometric and radiometric characteristics of the images evaluated. The evaluated parameters include spatial resolution, high-contrast detail, low contrast threshold, linear detail of low contrast, tumor masses, contrast ratio and background optical density. The results obtained by this method were compared with the results presented in the visual evaluations performed by the Health Surveillance of Minas Gerais. Through this comparison was possible to demonstrate that the automated methodology is presented as a promising alternative for the reduction or elimination of existing subjectivity in the visual assessment methodology currently in use. (author)

  3. Methodology for Air Quality Forecast Downscaling from Regional- to Street-Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baklanov, Alexander; Nuterman, Roman; Mahura, Alexander; Amstrup, Bjarne; Hansen Saas, Bent; Havskov Sørensen, Jens; Lorenzen, Thomas; Weismann, Jakob

    2010-05-01

    The most serious air pollution events occur in cities where there is a combination of high population density and air pollution, e.g. from vehicles. The pollutants can lead to serious human health problems, including asthma, irritation of the lungs, bronchitis, pneumonia, decreased resistance to respiratory infections, and premature death. In particular air pollution is associated with increase in cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. In 2000 WHO estimated that between 2.5 % and 11 % of total annual deaths are caused by exposure to air pollution. However, European-scale air quality models are not suited for local forecasts, as their grid-cell is typically of the order of 5 to 10km and they generally lack detailed representation of urban effects. Two suites are used in the framework of the EC FP7 project MACC (Monitoring of Atmosphere Composition and Climate) to demonstrate how downscaling from the European MACC ensemble to local-scale air quality forecast will be carried out: one will illustrate capabilities for the city of Copenhagen (Denmark); the second will focus on the city of Bucharest (Romania). This work is devoted to the first suite, where methodological aspects of downscaling from regional (European/ Denmark) to urban scale (Copenhagen), and from the urban down to street scale. The first results of downscaling according to the proposed methodology are presented. The potential for downscaling of European air quality forecasts by operating urban and street-level forecast models is evaluated. This will bring a strong support for continuous improvement of the regional forecast modelling systems for air quality in Europe, and underline clear perspectives for the future regional air quality core and downstream services for end-users. At the end of the MACC project, requirements on "how-to-do" downscaling of European air-quality forecasts to the city and street levels with different approaches will be formulated.

  4. Diet Quality Scores and Prediction of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cancer Mortality in a Pan-European Cohort Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille Lassale

    Full Text Available Scores of overall diet quality have received increasing attention in relation to disease aetiology; however, their value in risk prediction has been little examined. The objective was to assess and compare the association and predictive performance of 10 diet quality scores on 10-year risk of all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality in 451,256 healthy participants to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, followed-up for a median of 12.8y. All dietary scores studied showed significant inverse associations with all outcomes. The range of HRs (95% CI in the top vs. lowest quartile of dietary scores in a composite model including non-invasive factors (age, sex, smoking, body mass index, education, physical activity and study centre was 0.75 (0.72-0.79 to 0.88 (0.84-0.92 for all-cause, 0.76 (0.69-0.83 to 0.84 (0.76-0.92 for CVD and 0.78 (0.73-0.83 to 0.91 (0.85-0.97 for cancer mortality. Models with dietary scores alone showed low discrimination, but composite models also including age, sex and other non-invasive factors showed good discrimination and calibration, which varied little between different diet scores examined. Mean C-statistic of full models was 0.73, 0.80 and 0.71 for all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality. Dietary scores have poor predictive performance for 10-year mortality risk when used in isolation but display good predictive ability in combination with other non-invasive common risk factors.

  5. Methodology for oversizing marginal quality riprap for erosion control at uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staub, W.P.; Abt, S.R.

    1987-01-01

    Properly selected and oversized local sources of riprap may provide superior erosion protection compared with revegetation at a number of uranium mill tailings sites in arid regions of the United States. Whereas highly durable rock is appropriate for protecting diversion channels to the height of the 5-year flood, marginal quality rock may be adequate for protecting infrequently flooded side slopes of diversion channels, tailings embankments and caps. Marginal quality rock may require oversizing to guarantee that design size specifications are met at the end of the performance period (200 to 1000 years). This paper discusses a methodology for oversizing marginal quality rock. Results of cyclic freezing and thawing tests are used to determine oversizing requirements as functions of the performance period and environment. Test results show that marginal quality rock may be used in frequently saturated areas but in some cases oversizing will be substantial and in other cases marginal quality rock may be disqualified. Oversizing of marginal quality rock appears to be a practical reality in occasionally saturated areas (between the 5-year and 100-year floods). Furthermore, oversizing will not generally be required on slopes from the 100-year flood. 6 refs., 4 tabs

  6. Free Dietary Choice and Free-Range Rearing Improve the Product Quality, Gait Score, and Microbial Richness of Chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siyu Chen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Poultry welfare has been extensively studied; however, there is a lack of rigorous scientific knowledge relating to the different aspects of welfare factors and how this may contribute to the production quantity and product quality as well as the welfare of chickens. Therefore, we conducted an integrated study to compare welfare factors in chickens by providing free dietary choice under cage rearing, and further comparing cage rearing with free-range rearing. One hundred chickens each were allocated to a cage rearing group with conventional feeding (CC, a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms (FDM, a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FDMG, and a free-range rearing system group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FRMG. Results showed that under cage rearing, free dietary choice contributed to better meat quality and gait score, higher values of blood platelets, and a richer gut microbial composition, but poorer egg production than CC chickens. As compared to FDMG, FRMG chickens showed better meat quality, gait score, and feather conditions, as well as a richer gut microbial composition; however, they had poorer egg production and a poorer foot pad and foot feather condition. We conclude that free dietary choice and free-range rearing systems improve the product quality, gait score, and microbial richness of chickens.

  7. The reporting characteristics and methodological quality of Cochrane reviews about health policy research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiu-xia, Li; Ya, Zheng; Yao-long, Chen; Ke-hu, Yang; Zong-jiu, Zhang

    2015-04-01

    The systematic review has increasingly become a popular tool for researching health policy. However, due to the complexity and diversity in the health policy research, it has also encountered more challenges. We set out the Cochrane reviews on health policy research as a representative to provide the first examination of epidemiological and descriptive characteristics as well as the compliance of methodological quality with the AMSTAR. 99 reviews were included by inclusion criteria, 73% of which were Implementation Strategies, 15% were Financial Arrangements and 12% were Governance Arrangements; involved Public Health (34%), Theoretical Exploration (18%), Hospital Management (17%), Medical Insurance (12%), Pharmaceutical Policy (9%), Community Health (7%) and Rural Health (2%). Only 39% conducted meta-analysis, and 49% reported being updates, and none was rated low methodological quality. Our research reveals that the quantity and quality of the evidence should be improved, especially Financial Arrangements and Governance Arrangements involved Rural Health, Health Care Reform and Health Equity, etc. And the reliability of AMSTAR needs to be tested in larger range in this field. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Trained-user opinion about Welfare Quality measures and integrated scoring of dairy cattle welfare

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Graaf, S.; Ampe, B.; Winckler, C.

    2017-01-01

    important by trained users (e.g., measures relating to drinkers) had the highest influence on the WQ overall welfare categorization. Conversely, measures rated as most important by the trained users (e.g., lameness and mortality) had a lower effect on the WQ overall category. In addition, trained users were...... conducted an online survey to examine whether trained users' opinions of the WQ protocol for dairy cattle correspond with the integrated scores (criteria, principles, and overall categorization) calculated according to the WQ protocol. First, the trained users' scores (n = 8–15) for reliability and validity...

  9. Methodology for Assessing the Quality of Agribusiness Activity Based on the Environmentally Responsible Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Antonovna Anfinogentova

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the research and development of quality evaluation methods of agro-industrial enterprises activity in the regional economy with the use of the ecological approach. The hypothesis of the study is that the activity of the economic entities (as well as of agribusiness must be assessed not only in the context of economic efficiency and effectiveness, but also in the context of environmental ethics and environmental aggression. As the initial data, we have used the indicators of economic statistics of Russian agrarian-oriented regions, as well as the data received from management reporting on the sample of enterprises of three regions (the Belgorod and Moscow regions, Krasnodar Territory. The article offers the economic and mathematical approach for measuring the level of the environmental responsibility of agro-industrial enterprises on the basic formula of the Mandelbrot set and statistical indicator of Hurst. Our scientific contribution is the development of a modified methodology for assessing the quality of the activity of agro-industrial enterprises using the parameter characterizing the level of environmental ethics and environmental aggression of these entities. The main result of the study is the approbation of the method, which has shown its practical applicability and relative coherence with certain indicators of regional ecological statistics. The proposed method is characterized by the integration of the different mathematical approaches and as an adaptive assessment tool that can be used to assess the quality of the activity of both agro-industrial enterprises and enterprises of other industries and fields of the economy. In the further works, the authors plan to develop methodological approaches to the assessment of the quality of agro-industrial products. At the same time, the main attention will be paid to the ecological and social component of the quality.

  10. Methodological quality of meta-analyses on treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a cross-sectional study using the AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Robin S T; Wu, Xinyin; Yuan, Jinqiu; Liu, Siya; Lai, Xin; Wong, Samuel Y S; Chung, Vincent C H

    2015-01-08

    Meta-analysis (MA) of randomised trials is considered to be one of the best approaches for summarising high-quality evidence on the efficacy and safety of treatments. However, methodological flaws in MAs can reduce the validity of conclusions, subsequently impairing the quality of decision making. To assess the methodological quality of MAs on COPD treatments. A cross-sectional study on MAs of COPD trials. MAs published during 2000-2013 were sampled from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effect. Methodological quality was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. Seventy-nine MAs were sampled. Only 18% considered the scientific quality of primary studies when formulating conclusions and 49% used appropriate meta-analytic methods to combine findings. The problems were particularly acute among MAs on pharmacological treatments. In 48% of MAs the authors did not report conflict of interest. Fifty-eight percent reported harmful effects of treatment. Publication bias was not assessed in 65% of MAs, and only 10% had searched non-English databases. The methodological quality of the included MAs was disappointing. Consideration of scientific quality when formulating conclusions should be made explicit. Future MAs should improve on reporting conflict of interest and harm, assessment of publication bias, prevention of language bias and use of appropriate meta-analytic methods.

  11. THE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT OF PRIMER PACKAGING PROCESS USING SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prima Ditahardiyani

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of Six Sigma has become a common theme in many organizations. This paper presents the Six Sigma methodology and its implementation in a primer packaging process of Cranberry drink. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control approach is used to analyze and to improve the primer packaging process, which have high variability and defects output. After the improvement, the results showed that there was an increasing sigma level. However, it is not significantly and has not achieved the world standard quality, yet. Therefore, the implementation of Six Sigma in primer packaging process of Cranberry drink still has a room for doing a further research.

  12. The methodological quality of systematic reviews comparing temporomandibular joint disorder surgical and non-surgical treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasconcelos Belmiro CE

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD are multifactor, complex clinical problems affecting approximately 60–70% of the general population, with considerable controversy about the most effective treatment. For example, reports claim success rates of 70% and 83% for non-surgical and surgical treatment, whereas other reports claim success rates of 40% to 70% for self-improvement without treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to (1 identify systematic reviews comparing temporomandibular joint disorder surgical and non-surgical treatment, (2 evaluate their methodological quality, and (3 evaluate the evidence grade within the systematic reviews. Methods A search strategy was developed and implemented for MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, LILACS, and Brazilian Dentistry Bibliography databases. Inclusion criteria were: systematic reviews (± meta-analysis comparing surgical and non-surgical TMJD treatment, published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or German between the years 1966 and 2007(up to July. Exclusion criteria were: in vitro or animal studies; narrative reviews or editorials or editorial letters; and articles published in other languages. Two investigators independently selected and evaluated systematic reviews. Three different instruments (AMSTAR, OQAQ and CASP were used to evaluate methodological quality, and the results averaged. The GRADE instrument was used to evaluate the evidence grade within the reviews. Results The search strategy identified 211 reports; of which 2 were systematic reviews meeting inclusion criteria. The first review met 23.5 ± 6.0% and the second met 77.5 ± 12.8% of the methodological quality criteria (mean ± sd. In these systematic reviews between 9 and 15% of the trials were graded as high quality, and 2 and 8% of the total number of patients were involved in these studies. Conclusion The results indicate that in spite of the widespread impact of TMJD, and the multitude of

  13. Reporting and methodological quality of survival analysis in articles published in Chinese oncology journals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Xiaobin; Zhang, Yuan; Sun, Xiao; Liu, Haihua; Zhang, Yingying

    2017-12-01

    Survival analysis methods have gained widespread use in the filed of oncology. For achievement of reliable results, the methodological process and report quality is crucial. This review provides the first examination of methodological characteristics and reporting quality of survival analysis in articles published in leading Chinese oncology journals.To examine methodological and reporting quality of survival analysis, to identify some common deficiencies, to desirable precautions in the analysis, and relate advice for authors, readers, and editors.A total of 242 survival analysis articles were included to be evaluated from 1492 articles published in 4 leading Chinese oncology journals in 2013. Articles were evaluated according to 16 established items for proper use and reporting of survival analysis.The application rates of Kaplan-Meier, life table, log-rank test, Breslow test, and Cox proportional hazards model (Cox model) were 91.74%, 3.72%, 78.51%, 0.41%, and 46.28%, respectively, no article used the parametric method for survival analysis. Multivariate Cox model was conducted in 112 articles (46.28%). Follow-up rates were mentioned in 155 articles (64.05%), of which 4 articles were under 80% and the lowest was 75.25%, 55 articles were100%. The report rates of all types of survival endpoint were lower than 10%. Eleven of 100 articles which reported a loss to follow-up had stated how to treat it in the analysis. One hundred thirty articles (53.72%) did not perform multivariate analysis. One hundred thirty-nine articles (57.44%) did not define the survival time. Violations and omissions of methodological guidelines included no mention of pertinent checks for proportional hazard assumption; no report of testing for interactions and collinearity between independent variables; no report of calculation method of sample size. Thirty-six articles (32.74%) reported the methods of independent variable selection. The above defects could make potentially inaccurate

  14. The ARIA score of allergic rhinitis using mobile technology correlates with quality-of-life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bousquet, J; Arnavielhe, S; Bedbrook, A

    2018-01-01

    Mobile technology has been used to appraise allergic rhinitis control but more data are needed. In order to better assess the importance of mobile technologies in rhinitis control, the ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) score ranging from 0 to 4 of the Allergy Diary was compared wi...

  15. Pronuclear scoring as a predictor of embryo quality in in vitro fertilization program.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Jedrzejczak

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Many strategies have been proposed for the selection of viable embryos for transfer in human assisted reproduction. These have included morphological scoring criteria for 20, 28, 44 and 68 h after insemination. The embryo selection is based on morphology, degree of fragmentation and development to the 8-cell. All have shown some correlation with implantation. However, the overall success of these methods is still limited, with over 50% of all transferred embryos failing to implant. Pronuclear zygote morphology has gained much attention recently due to its positive value in predicting implantation and pregnancy. This prospective study involved 178 conventional IVF patients only. The key aspects of pronuclear scoring and namely the presence of a cytoplasmic halo were related to day 3 of development and morphology in a retrospective study. The Z-score and the presence/absence of a halo had significant effect on the rate of development on day 3 embryo. Low Z-score result in slow development and poor morphology. The absence of a halo also resulted in slow and poor development, low morphology, increased fragmentation.

  16. Predicting performance and injury resilience from movement quality and fitness scores in a basketball team over 2 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Stuart M; Andersen, Jordan T; Horne, Arthur D

    2012-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to see if specific tests of fitness and movement quality could predict injury resilience and performance in a team of basketball players over 2 years (2 playing seasons). It was hypothesized that, in a basketball population, movement and fitness scores would predict performance scores and that movement and fitness scores would predict injury resilience. A basketball team from a major American university (N = 14) served as the test population in this longitudinal trial. Variables linked to fitness, movement ability, speed, strength, and agility were measured together with some National Basketball Association (NBA) combine tests. Dependent variables of performance indicators (such as games and minutes played, points scored, assists, rebounds, steal, and blocks) and injury reports were tracked for the subsequent 2 years. Results showed that better performance was linked with having a stiffer torso, more mobile hips, weaker left grip strength, and a longer standing long jump, to name a few. Of the 3 NBA combine tests administered here, only a faster lane agility time had significant links with performance. Some movement qualities and torso endurance were not linked. No patterns with injury emerged. These observations have implications for preseason testing and subsequent training programs in an attempt to reduce future injury and enhance playing performance.

  17. Age-Related Differences in Quality of Standing Balance Using a Composite Score

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pasma, J.H.; Bijlsma, A.Y.; van der Bij, M.D.W.; Arendzen, J.H.; Meskers, C.G.M.; Maier, A.B.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Age-related differences in standing balance are not detected by testing the ability to maintain balance. Quality of standing balance might be more sensitive to detect age-related differences. Objective: To study age-related differences in quality of standing balance, center of pressure

  18. Water Quality Research Program: Development of Unstructured Grid Linkage Methodology and Software for CE-QUAL-ICM

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chapman, Raymond

    1997-01-01

    This study was conducted for the purpose of developing a methodology and associated software for linking hydrodynamic output from the RMAlO finite element model to the CE-QUAL-ICM finite volume water quality model...

  19. The HAZOP methodology applied to the study of the quality and the productivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angel G, J.C.

    1996-01-01

    This article makes reference to an adaptation of the method HAZOP, used in Administration of Risks, to the study and solution of problems related with the quality and the productivity of matters cousins, processes, products and services. The described methodology, it is based in the definition of, intentions, or objectives for each part of the process, sub-process, product or service, with the purpose of finding, deviations, or problems of quality or productivity with the use of words g uide . It thinks about that each deviation should be analyzed for the determination of its causes and consequences, with the purpose of defining the corrective pertinent actions. The work of interdisciplinary groups intends as an unavoidable requirement, the same as the will of its members to make the things better every day

  20. The methodological quality of guidelines for hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambaras Khan, R; Aziz, Z

    2018-05-02

    Clinical practice guidelines serve as a framework for physicians to make decisions and to support best practice for optimizing patient care. However, if the guidelines do not address all the important components of optimal care sufficiently, the quality and validity of the guidelines can be reduced. The objectives of this study were to systematically review current guidelines for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), evaluate their methodological quality and highlight the similarities and differences in their recommendations for empirical antibiotic and antibiotic de-escalation strategies. This review is reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement. Electronic databases including MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed and EMBASE were searched up to September 2017 for relevant guidelines. Other databases such as NICE, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the websites of professional societies were also searched for relevant guidelines. The quality and reporting of included guidelines were assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE-II) instrument. Six guidelines were eligible for inclusion in our review. Among 6 domains of AGREE-II, "clarity of presentation" scored the highest (80.6%), whereas "applicability" scored the lowest (11.8%). All the guidelines supported the antibiotic de-escalation strategy, whereas the majority of the guidelines (5 of 6) recommended that empirical antibiotic therapy should be implemented in accordance with local microbiological data. All the guidelines suggested that for early-onset HAP/VAP, therapy should start with a narrow spectrum empirical antibiotic such as penicillin or cephalosporins, whereas for late-onset HAP/VAP, the guidelines recommended the use of a broader spectrum empirical antibiotic such as the penicillin extended spectrum carbapenems and glycopeptides. Expert guidelines

  1. Hong Kong men with low incomes have worse health-related quality of life as judged by SF-36 scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, G T C; Wai, H P S; Tsang, P C C; Chan, H C K

    2006-10-01

    To analyse the association between income and health-related quality of life using the Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) Chinese version in Hong Kong Chinese working population. Cross-sectional observation study. A commercial company in Hong Kong. All clerical and administrative staff of a commercial company was invited to participate; 876 of the 1003 staff agreed. The subjects were categorised into three income groups according to monthly income in Hong Kong dollars (low, 10,000-25,000; high, >25,000). The mean age of the 288 men and 588 women was 34.9 (standard deviation, 7.9; median, 34.0; range, 18-71) years. SF-36 scores on health-related quality of life. The distribution of income was 30% in high-, 54.8% in middle-, and 15.2% in low-income groups. Women had similar SF-36 scores among different income groups. In men, for most variables there was a significant positive linear correlation between income and SF-36 scores. Low income is associated with a worse health-related quality of life in Hong Kong Chinese men.

  2. Quality assurance and quality control methodologies used within the austrian UV monitoring network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mario, B.

    2004-01-01

    The Austrian UVB monitoring network is operational since 1997. Nine detectors for measuring erythemally weighted solar UV irradiance are distributed over Austria in order to cover the main populated areas as well as different levels of altitude. The detectors are calibrated to indicate the UV-Index, the internationally agreed unit for erythemally weighted solar UV irradiance. Calibration is carried out in the laboratory for determination of spectral sensitivity of each detector, and under the sun for absolute comparison with a well-calibrated, double-monochromator spectro-radiometer. For the conversion from detector-weighted units to erythemally weighted units a lookup table is used, which is calculated using a radiative transfer model and which reflects the dependence of the conversion on the solar zenith angle and total ozone content of the atmosphere. The uncertainty of the calibration is about ±7%, dominated by the uncertainty of the calibration lamp for the spectro-radiometer (±4%). The long-term stability of this type of detectors has been found to be not satisfactory. Therefore, routinely every year all detectors are completely re-calibrated. Variations of the calibration factors up to ±10% are found. Thus, during routine operation, several measures take place for quality control. The measured data are compared to results of model calculations with a radiative transfer model, where clear sky and an aerosol-free atmosphere are assumed. At each site, the UV data are also compared with data from a co-located pyrano-meter measuring total solar irradiance. These two radiation quantities are well correlated, especially on clear days and when the ozone content is taken into account. If suspicious measurements are found for one detector in the network, a well-calibrated travelling reference detector of the same type is set up side-by-side, allowing the identification of relative differences of ∼3%. If necessary, a recalibration is carried out. As the main aim

  3. Evaluation of the coat quality of sustained release pellets by individual pellet dissolution methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Min; Liew, Celine Valeria; Heng, Paul Wan Sia

    2015-01-15

    This study explored the application of 400-DS dissolution apparatus 7 for individual pellet dissolution methodology by a design of experiment approach and compared its capability with that of the USP dissolution apparatus 1 and 2 for differentiating the coat quality of sustained release pellets. Drug loaded pellets were prepared by extrusion-spheronization from powder blends comprising 50%, w/w metformin, 25%, w/w microcrystalline cellulose and 25%, w/w lactose, and then coated with ethyl cellulose to produce sustained release pellets with 8% and 10%, w/w coat weight gains. Various pellet properties were investigated, including cumulative drug release behaviours of ensemble and individual pellets. When USP dissolution apparatus 1 and 2 were used for drug release study of the sustained release pellets prepared, floating and clumping of pellets were observed and confounded the release profiles of the ensemble pellets. Hence, the release profiles obtained did not characterize the actual drug release from individual pellet and the applicability of USP dissolution apparatus 1 and 2 to evaluate the coat quality of sustained release pellets was limited. The cumulative release profile of individual pellet using the 400-DS dissolution apparatus 7 was found to be more precise at distinguishing differences in the applied coat quality. The dip speed and dip interval of the reciprocating holder were critical operational parameters of 400-DS dissolution apparatus 7 that affected the drug release rate of a sustained release pellet during the individual dissolution study. The individual dissolution methodology using the 400-DS dissolution apparatus 7 is a promising technique to evaluate the individual pellet coat quality without the influence of confounding factors such as pellet floating and clumping observed during drug release test with dissolution apparatus 1 and 2, as well as to facilitate the elucidation of the actual drug release mechanism conferred by the applied sustained

  4. A new transmission methodology for quality assurance in radiotherapy based on radiochromic film measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Amaral, Leonardo L.; Pavoni, Juliana F.; Sampaio, Francisco; Netto, Thomaz Ghilardi

    2015-01-01

    Despite individual quality assurance (QA) being recommended for complex techniques in radiotherapy (RT) treatment, the possibility of errors in dose delivery during therapeutic application has been verified. Therefore, it is fundamentally important to conduct in vivo QA during treatment. This work presents an in vivo transmission quality control methodology, using radiochromic film (RCF) coupled to the linear accelerator (linac) accessory holder. This QA methodology compares the dose distribution measured by the film in the linac accessory holder with the dose distribution expected by the treatment planning software. The calculated dose distribution is obtained in the coronal and central plane of a phantom with the same dimensions of the acrylic support used for positioning the film but in a source‐to‐detector distance (SDD) of 100 cm, as a result of transferring the IMRT plan in question with all the fields positioned with the gantry vertically, that is, perpendicular to the phantom. To validate this procedure, first of all a Monte Carlo simulation using PENELOPE code was done to evaluate the differences between the dose distributions measured by the film in a SDD of 56.8 cm and 100 cm. After that, several simple dose distribution tests were evaluated using the proposed methodology, and finally a study using IMRT treatments was done. In the Monte Carlo simulation, the mean percentage of points approved in the gamma function comparing the dose distribution acquired in the two SDDs were 99.92%±0.14%. In the simple dose distribution tests, the mean percentage of points approved in the gamma function were 99.85%±0.26% and the mean percentage differences in the normalization point doses were −1.41%. The transmission methodology was approved in 24 of 25 IMRT test irradiations. Based on these results, it can be concluded that the proposed methodology using RCFs can be applied for in vivo QA in RT treatments. PACS number: 87.55.Qr, 87.55.km, 87.55.N‐ PMID

  5. Patients' experiences of the quality of long-term care among the elderly: comparing scores over time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuidgeest Marloes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Every two years, long-term care organizations for the elderly are obliged to evaluate and publish the experiences of residents, representatives of psychogeriatric patients, and/or assisted-living clients with regard to quality of care. Our hypotheses are that publication of this quality information leads to improved performance, and that organizations with substandard performance will improve more than those whose performance is relatively good. Methods The analyses included organizational units that measured experiences twice between 2007 (t0 and 2009 (t1. Experiences with quality of care were measured with Consumer Quality Index (CQI questionnaires. Besides descriptive analyses (i.e. mean, 5th and 95th percentile, and 90% central range of the 19 CQI indicators and change scores of these indicators were calculated. Differences across five performance groups (ranging from 'worst' to 'best' were tested using an ANOVA test and effect sizes were measured with omega squared (ω2. Results At t0 experiences of residents, representatives, and assisted-living clients were positive on all indicators. Nevertheless, most CQI indicators had improved scores (up to 0.37 change score at t1. Only three indicators showed a minor decline (up to -0.08 change score. Change scores varied between indicators and questionnaires, e.g. they were more profound for the face-to-face interview questionnaire for residents in nursing homes than for the other two mail questionnaires (0.15 vs. 0.05 and 0.04, respectively, possibly due to more variation between nursing homes on the first measurement, perhaps indicating more potential for improvement. A negative relationship was found between prior performance and change, particularly with respect to the experiences of residents (ω2 = 0.16 and assisted-living clients (ω2 = 0.15. However, the relation between prior performance and improvement could also be demonstrated with respect to the experiences reported

  6. Are methodological quality and completeness of reporting associated with citation-based measures of publication impact? A secondary analysis of a systematic review of dementia biomarker studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackinnon, Shona; Drozdowska, Bogna A; Hamilton, Michael; Noel-Storr, Anna H; McShane, Rupert; Quinn, Terry

    2018-03-22

    To determine whether methodological and reporting quality are associated with surrogate measures of publication impact in the field of dementia biomarker studies. We assessed dementia biomarker studies included in a previous systematic review in terms of methodological and reporting quality using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) and Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD), respectively. We extracted additional study and journal-related data from each publication to account for factors shown to be associated with impact in previous research. We explored associations between potential determinants and measures of publication impact in univariable and stepwise multivariable linear regression analyses. We aimed to collect data on four measures of publication impact: two traditional measures-average number of citations per year and 5-year impact factor of the publishing journal and two alternative measures-the Altmetric Attention Score and counts of electronic downloads. The systematic review included 142 studies. Due to limited data, Altmetric Attention Scores and electronic downloads were excluded from the analysis, leaving traditional metrics as the only analysed outcome measures. We found no relationship between QUADAS and traditional metrics. Citation rates were independently associated with 5-year journal impact factor (β=0.42; pcitation rates (β=0.45; pCitation rates and 5-year journal impact factor appear to measure different dimensions of impact. Citation rates were weakly associated with completeness of reporting, while neither traditional metric was related to methodological rigour. Our results suggest that high publication usage and journal outlet is not a guarantee of quality and readers should critically appraise all papers regardless of presumed impact. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted

  7. [Predictive quality of the injury severity score in the systematic use of cranial MRI].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woischneck, D; Lerch, K; Kapapa, T; Skalej, M; Firsching, R

    2010-09-01

    The ABBREVIATED INJURY SCORE (AIS) for the head is mostly coded on the basis of cranial computed tomography (CT). It defines, to a large extent, the predictive potency of the INJURY SEVERITY SCORE (ISS). The present study investigates whether the predictive capacity of the ISS can be improved by the systematic use of data from cranial MRI. 167 patients, who had been in a coma for at least 24 hours following trauma, underwent an MRI examination within 8 days. All had been found to have an intracranial injury on initial CT. 49 % had also suffered extracranial injuries. The GLASGOW OUTCOME SCALE (GOS) was determined 6 months post trauma. AIS, ISS and GOS values were rated as ordinal measurements. A contingency table was used as the statistical method of analysis, with a significance assumed as p RISC) score was improved by use of adapted MRI data. If visible brain stem lesions on MRI were coded according to the AIS guidelines, there was a significant increase in the ISS which correlated significantly to the GOS. If the AIS coding was adjusted to the prognostic significance of individual brain stem lesions, there was a further improvement in the prognostic potency of the ISS. The study encourages the inclusion of data obtained from MRI diagnostics in the ISS calculation. There are alternative ways. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  8. Rating the methodological quality of single-subject designs and n-of-1 trials: introducing the Single-Case Experimental Design (SCED) Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Robyn L; McDonald, Skye; Perdices, Michael; Togher, Leanne; Schultz, Regina; Savage, Sharon

    2008-08-01

    Rating scales that assess methodological quality of clinical trials provide a means to critically appraise the literature. Scales are currently available to rate randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, but there are none that assess single-subject designs. The Single-Case Experimental Design (SCED) Scale was developed for this purpose and evaluated for reliability. Six clinical researchers who were trained and experienced in rating methodological quality of clinical trials developed the scale and participated in reliability studies. The SCED Scale is an 11-item rating scale for single-subject designs, of which 10 items are used to assess methodological quality and use of statistical analysis. The scale was developed and refined over a 3-year period. Content validity was addressed by identifying items to reduce the main sources of bias in single-case methodology as stipulated by authorities in the field, which were empirically tested against 85 published reports. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using a random sample of 20/312 single-subject reports archived in the Psychological Database of Brain Impairment Treatment Efficacy (PsycBITE). Inter-rater reliability for the total score was excellent, both for individual raters (overall ICC = 0.84; 95% confidence interval 0.73-0.92) and for consensus ratings between pairs of raters (overall ICC = 0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.78-0.95). Item reliability was fair to excellent for consensus ratings between pairs of raters (range k = 0.48 to 1.00). The results were replicated with two independent novice raters who were trained in the use of the scale (ICC = 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.73-0.95). The SCED Scale thus provides a brief and valid evaluation of methodological quality of single-subject designs, with the total score demonstrating excellent inter-rater reliability using both individual and consensus ratings. Items from the scale can also be used as a checklist in the design, reporting and critical

  9. A novel methodology for interpreting air quality measurements from urban streets using CFD modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solazzo, Efisio; Vardoulakis, Sotiris; Cai, Xiaoming

    2011-09-01

    In this study, a novel computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based methodology has been developed to interpret long-term averaged measurements of pollutant concentrations collected at roadside locations. The methodology is applied to the analysis of pollutant dispersion in Stratford Road (SR), a busy street canyon in Birmingham (UK), where a one-year sampling campaign was carried out between August 2005 and July 2006. Firstly, a number of dispersion scenarios are defined by combining sets of synoptic wind velocity and direction. Assuming neutral atmospheric stability, CFD simulations are conducted for all the scenarios, by applying the standard k-ɛ turbulence model, with the aim of creating a database of normalised pollutant concentrations at specific locations within the street. Modelled concentration for all wind scenarios were compared with hourly observed NO x data. In order to compare with long-term averaged measurements, a weighted average of the CFD-calculated concentration fields was derived, with the weighting coefficients being proportional to the frequency of each scenario observed during the examined period (either monthly or annually). In summary the methodology consists of (i) identifying the main dispersion scenarios for the street based on wind speed and directions data, (ii) creating a database of CFD-calculated concentration fields for the identified dispersion scenarios, and (iii) combining the CFD results based on the frequency of occurrence of each dispersion scenario during the examined period. The methodology has been applied to calculate monthly and annually averaged benzene concentration at several locations within the street canyon so that a direct comparison with observations could be made. The results of this study indicate that, within the simplifying assumption of non-buoyant flow, CFD modelling can aid understanding of long-term air quality measurements, and help assessing the representativeness of monitoring locations for population

  10. Use of Proteomic Methodology in Optimization of Processing and Quality Control of Food of Animal Origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dajana Gašo-Sokač

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Food of animal origin, namely meat, seafood, milk and milk products, is the main protein source in human nutrition. These types of food are very complex mixtures that contain proteins and other components, and proteomic techniques enable simultaneous study of several hundred up to several thousand proteins. The use of proteomic methodology for quality control and quality assessment in production as well as for the optimization and development of new manufacturing processes is presented. Newly developed, faster and more selective methods for sample preparation followed by more sensitive mass spectrometry for identification of less abundant proteins are discussed. These techniques will help to understand variations in production, and to find markers for food quality criteria. Furthermore, biologically active peptides in food of animal origin have recently been the focus of proteomic and peptidomic investigations. Isolation and production of biologically active proteins and peptides, including the low abundance ones, will also be a focus of future research. The use of proteomics, peptidomics and metabonomics for the determination of product quality and the detection of adulterations in meat production, seafood identification and in the production of milk and milk products is also discussed.

  11. Evaluation of the quality of the environmental participation: A methodological proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuluaga M, Clara; Carmona M, Sergio Ivan

    2004-01-01

    The advances in the way to sustainability are inseparable to the achievement in the citizenship construction, because the citizen condition is only realized in the proactive compromise with the territorial themes, the environmental management effectiveness requests high quality in their participative processes; therefore, pertinent tools are required to know and to appraise these processes. The goodness of these tools proceeds of their functionality in the knowledge of the participation quality purpose, that to environmental participative processes, is conceived in terms of legitimacy, representatively, democratization of the environmental knowledge, social cohesion, capacity of interlocution, and incidence in the decision making, with the coherent conceptual structure of these facets shapes the theoretical-methodological scaffolding that permits their joining in attributes, variables and indicators relatives to the characteristics of the participative planning processes, proper to account of the environmental participation quality. With the appraisal of the environmental participation quality in planning processes, supported in the integration of the constitutive attributes, is possible to obtain the index that facilitates their diagnostic and improvement

  12. Patients with tattoo reactions have reduced quality of life and suffer from itch: Dermatology Life Quality Index and Itch Severity Score measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutton Carlsen, K; Serup, J

    2015-02-01

    Tattoos are a trend with increasing side-effects. The burden of local reaction with swelling, itching and discomfort may impel sufferers to consult medical assistance. To assess tattoo reactions and their influence on quality of life and itching by utilizing the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) scoring system and Itch Severity Scale (ISS). Patients attending the 'Tattoo Clinic' at Bispebjerg University Hospital, Denmark with tattoo problems spanning more than 3 months were invited. Forty patients participated during September-November 2012. Patients attending their routine consultations completed the ISS and DLQI questionnaires. Patients with tattoo reactions experienced reduced quality of life, DLQI score 7.4 and were burdened by itch, ISS score 7.2. Both DLQI and ISS results attained the level of discomfort of known skin diseases such as psoriasis, pruritus and eczema albeit the typical tattooed affected areas are smaller. Sufferers of tattoo reactions have reduced quality of life and are often burdened by itching attaining the level of other cumbersome afflictions recognized as dermatological diseases associated with itch. Tattoo reactions warrant diagnosis and treatment with same professional intent shared with other skin diseases. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Association between diet-quality scores, adiposity, total cholesterol and markers of nutritional status in european adults: Findings from the Food4Me study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fallaize, R.; Livingstone, K.M.; Celis-Morales, C.; Macready, A.L.; San-Cristobal, R.; Navas-Carretero, S.; Marsaux, C.F.M.; O’Donovan, C.B.; Kolossa, S.; Moschonis, G.; Walsh, M.C.; Gibney, E.R.; Brennan, L.; Bouwman, J.; Manios, Y.; Jarosz, M.; Martinez, J.A.; Daniel, H.; Saris, W.H.M.; Gundersen, T.E.; Drevon, C.A.; Gibney, M.J.; Mathers, J.C.; Lovegrove, J.A.

    2018-01-01

    Diet-quality scores (DQS), which are developed across the globe, are used to define adherence to specific eating patterns and have been associated with risk of coronary heart disease and type-II diabetes. We explored the association between five diet-quality scores (Healthy Eating Index, HEI;

  14. Health related quality of life among myocardial infarction survivors in the United States: a propensity score matched analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollon, Lea; Bhattacharjee, Sandipan

    2017-12-04

    Little is known regarding the health-related quality of life among myocardial infarction (MI) survivors in the United States. The purpose of this population-based study was to identify differences in health-related quality of life domains between MI survivors and propensity score matched controls. This retrospective, cross-sectional matched case-control study examined differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among MI survivors of myocardial infarction compared to propensity score matched controls using data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Propensity scores were generated via logistic regression for MI survivors and controls based on gender, race/ethnicity, age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, and comorbidities. Chi-square tests were used to compare differences between MI survivors to controls for demographic variables. A multivariate analysis of HRQoL domains estimated odds ratios. Life satisfaction, sleep quality, and activity limitations were estimated using binary logistic regression. Social support, perceived general health, perceived physical health, and perceived mental health were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. Significance was set at p 15 days in the month (AOR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.46-1.83) and poor mental health >15 days in the month (AOR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.07-1.46) compared to matched controls. There was no difference in survivors compared to controls in level of emotional support (rarely/never: AOR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.48-1.18; sometimes: AOR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.41-1.28), hours of recommended sleep (AOR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.94-1.38), or life satisfaction (AOR = 1.62, 95% CI: 0.99-2.63). MI survivors experienced lower HRQoL on domains of general health, physical health, daily activity, and mental health compared to the general population.

  15. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) and soybean oil effects on quality characteristics of pork patties studied by response surface methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Eunkyung; Joo, Nami

    2013-07-01

    Response surface methodology was used to investigate the effect and interactions of processing variables such as roselle extract (0.1-1.3%), soybean oil (5-20%) on physicochemical, textural and sensory properties of cooked pork patties. It was found that reduction in thickness, pH, L* and b* values decreased; however, water-holding capacity, reduction in diameter and a* values increased, respectively, as the amount of roselle increased. Soybean oil addition increased water-holding capacity, reduction in thickness, b* values of the patties. The hardness depended on the roselle and soybean oil added, as its linear effect was negative at proselle and soybean oil. The maximum overall quality score (5.42) was observed when 12.5 g of soybean oil and 0.7 g of roselle extract was added. The results of this optimization study would be useful for meat industry that tends to increase the product yield for patties using the optimum levels of ingredients by RSM. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Interobserver agreement and performance score comparison in quality control using a breast phantom: screen-film mammography vs computed radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimamoto, Kazuhiro; Ikeda, Mitsuru; Satake, Hiroko; Ishigaki, Satoko; Sawaki, Akiko; Ishigaki, Takeo

    2002-01-01

    Our objective was to evaluate interobserver agreement and to compare the performance score in quality control of screen-film mammography and computed radiography (CR) using a breast phantom. Eleven radiologists interpreted a breast phantom image (CIRS model X) by four viewing methods: (a) original screen-film; (b) soft-copy reading of the digitized film image; (c) hard-copy reading of CR using an imaging plate; and (d) soft-copy reading of CR. For the soft-copy reading, a 17-in. CRT monitor (1024 x 1536 x 8 bits) was used. The phantom image was evaluated using a scoring system outlined in the instruction manual, and observers judged each object using a three-point rating scale: (a) clearly seen; (b) barely seen; and (c) not seen. For statistical analysis, the kappa statistic was employed. For ''mass'' depiction, interobserver agreement using CR was significantly lower than when using screen-film (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in the kappa value for detecting ''microcalcification''; however, the performance score of ''microcalcification'' on CR hard-copy was significantly lower than on the other three viewing methods (p<0.05). Viewing methods (film or CR, soft-copy or hard-copy) could affect how the phantom image is judged. Paying special attention to viewing conditions is recommended for quality control of CR mammograms. (orig.)

  17. Development of a quality management system for borehole investigations. (1) Quality assurance and quality control methodology for hydraulic packer testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeuchi, Shinji; Kunimaru, Takanori; Ota, Kunio; Frieg, Bernd

    2011-01-01

    A quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) system for the hydraulic packer tests has been established based on the surface-based investigations at JAEA's underground research laboratories in Mizunami and Horonobe. The established QA/QC system covers field investigations (data acquisition) and data analysis. For the field investigations, the adopted procedure is selection of a test section based on a detail fluid logging and checking with tally list, followed by inspection of test tools such as pressure transducers and shut-in valves, etc., test method selection using a 'sequential hydraulic test' for deciding appropriate method, and finally data quality confirmation by pressure changes and derivatives on a log-log plots during testing. Test event logs should also be described during testing for traceability. For the test data analysis, a quick analysis for rough estimation of hydraulic parameters, and a detailed analysis using type curve and/or numerical analyses are conducted stepwise. The established QA/QC system has been applied to the recent borehole investigations and its efficiency has been confirmed. (author)

  18. СONTENTS OF THE METHODOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL SUPPORT OF THE EDUCATION QUALITY MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR FUTURE ECONOMISTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostiantyn S. Khoruzhyi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In the article, the content and nature of organizational activities in scope of methodological and technological support of the education quality management information system (EQMIS for future economists are described. The content of the organizational activities for the implementation of methodological and technological support of EQMIS for future economists includes four stages (preparatory, instructional/adaptational, methodological/basic, as well as experimental/evaluational and contains a set of methodological and technological measures for each of the stages of the EQMIS implementation. A study of the pedagogical impact of the proposed methodology of using EQMIS in the formation of professional competence of economics students was also conducted. The main stages, methods and sequence of implementation arrangements for the methodological and technological support of EQMIS are defined.

  19. Clinical observation on scores of anxiety, depression and quality of life for advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma patients with palliation intervention therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Yue; Jiang Tinghui; Jiang Yongxing; Sun Xianjun

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the influence of palliative intervention therapy on advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma patients with depression and anxiety before and after the treatment. Methods: 56 advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma patients were selected and treated with intra-arterial perfusion chemotherapy or intra-arterial perfusion chemotherapy with embolization. Curative effects were assessed with the SDS, SAS and FACT-G before and after the treatment. In addition, all patients took self-assessment with SCL-90, comparing with the Chinese norms. Results: SCL-90 scores including the somatization agent, depression agent, and anxiety agent scores of the advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma were higher than those of Chinese norms, with significant difference (P<0.05). After palliative intervention therapy, the scores of SDS and SAS were lower than those before the palliative intervention therapy with significant difference (P< 0.05); and furthermore with an obvious improvement in the scores of FACT-G (P<0.05). Conclusion: Palliative intervention therapy for advanced gastrointestinal carcinoma patients can improve the complaints of depression anxiety and quality of life. (authors)

  20. Longitudinal Prediction of Quality-of-Life Scores and Locomotion in Individuals With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiremath, Shivayogi V; Hogaboom, Nathan S; Roscher, Melissa R; Worobey, Lynn A; Oyster, Michelle L; Boninger, Michael L

    2017-12-01

    To examine (1) differences in quality-of-life scores for groups based on transitions in locomotion status at 1, 5, and 10 years postdischarge in a sample of people with spinal cord injury (SCI); and (2) whether demographic factors and transitions in locomotion status can predict quality-of-life measures at these time points. Retrospective case study of the National SCI Database. Model SCI Systems Centers. Individuals with SCI (N=10,190) from 21 SCI Model Systems Centers, identified through the National SCI Model Systems Centers database between the years 1985 and 2012. Subjects had FIM (locomotion mode) data at discharge and at least 1 of the following: 1, 5, or 10 years postdischarge. Not applicable. FIM-locomotion mode; Severity of Depression Scale; Satisfaction With Life Scale; and Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique. Participants who transitioned from ambulation to wheelchair use reported lower participation and life satisfaction, and higher depression levels (P.05) or life satisfaction (P>.05) compared with those who transitioned from wheelchair to ambulation. Demographic factors and locomotion transitions predicted quality-of-life scores at all time points (P<.05). The results of this study indicate that transitioning from ambulation to wheelchair use can negatively impact psychosocial health 10 years after SCI. Clinicians should be aware of this when deciding on ambulation training. Further work to characterize who may be at risk for these transitions is needed. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Patient satisfaction scores and their relationship to hospital website quality measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Eric W; Huerta, Timothy R; Diana, Mark L; Kazley, Abby Swanson; Menachemi, Nir

    2013-01-01

    Hospitals and health systems are using web-based and social media tools to market themselves to consumers with increasingly sophisticated strategies. These efforts are designed to shape the consumers' expectations, influence their purchase decisions, and build a positive reputation in the marketplace. Little is known about how these web-based marketing efforts are taking form and if they have any relationship to consumers' satisfaction with the services they receive. The purpose of this study is to assess if a relationship exists between the quality of hospitals' public websites and their aggregated patient satisfaction ratings. Based on analyses of 1,952 U.S. hospitals, our results show that website quality is significantly and positively related to patients' overall rating of the hospital and their intention to recommend the facility to others. The potential for web-based information sources to influence consumer behavior has important implications for policymakers, third-party payers, health care providers, and consumers.

  2. Inkjet printed large-area flexible circuits: a simple methodology for optimizing the printing quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Tao; Wu, Youwei; Shen, Xiaoqin; Lai, Wenyong; Huang, Wei

    2018-01-01

    In this work, a simple methodology was developed to enhance the patterning resolution of inkjet printing, involving process optimization as well as substrate modification and treatment. The line width of the inkjet-printed silver lines was successfully reduced to 1/3 of the original value using this methodology. Large-area flexible circuits with delicate patterns and good morphology were thus fabricated. The resultant flexible circuits showed excellent electrical conductivity as low as 4.5 Ω/□ and strong tolerance to mechanical bending. The simple methodology is also applicable to substrates with various wettability, which suggests a general strategy to enhance the printing quality of inkjet printing for manufacturing high-performance large-area flexible electronics. Project supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (Nos. 2014CB648300, 2017YFB0404501), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21422402, 21674050), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Nos. BK20140060, BK20130037, BK20140865, BM2012010), the Program for Jiangsu Specially-Appointed Professors (No. RK030STP15001), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-13-0872), the NUPT "1311 Project" and Scientific Foundation (Nos. NY213119, NY213169), the Synergetic Innovation Center for Organic Electronics and Information Displays, the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), the Leading Talent of Technological Innovation of National Ten-Thousands Talents Program of China, the Excellent Scientific and Technological Innovative Teams of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (No. TJ217038), the Program for Graduate Students Research and Innovation of Jiangsu Province (No. KYZZ16-0253), and the 333 Project of Jiangsu Province (Nos. BRA2017402, BRA2015374).

  3. Report on use of a methodology for commissioning and quality assurance of a VMAT system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Mayo

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Results of use of methodology for VMAT commissioning and quality assurance, utilizing both control point tests and dosimetric measurements are presented. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A generalizable, phantom measurement approach is used to characterize the accuracy of the measurement system. Correction for angular response of the measurement system and inclusion of couch structures are used to characterize the full range gantry angles desirable for clinical plans. A dose based daily QA measurement approach is defined. RESULTS: Agreement in the static vs. VMAT picket fence control point test was better than 0.5 mm. Control point tests varying gantry rotation speed, leaf speed and dose rate, demonstrated agreement with predicted values better than 1%. Angular dependence of the MatriXX array, varied over a range of 0.94-1.06, with respect to the calibration condition. Phantom measurements demonstrated central axis dose accuracy for un-modulated four field box plans was ≥2.5% vs. 1% with and without angular correction respectively with better results for VMAT (0.4% vs. IMRT (1.6% plans. Daily QA results demonstrated average agreement all three chambers within 0.4% over 9 month period with no false positives at a 3% threshold. DISCUSSION: The methodology described is simple in design and characterizes both the inherit limitations of the measurement system as well at the dose based measurements that may be directly related to patient plan QA.

  4. Residency Training: Quality improvement projects in neurology residency and fellowship: applying DMAIC methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassardjian, Charles D; Williamson, Michelle L; van Buskirk, Dorothy J; Ernste, Floranne C; Hunderfund, Andrea N Leep

    2015-07-14

    Teaching quality improvement (QI) is a priority for residency and fellowship training programs. However, many medical trainees have had little exposure to QI methods. The purpose of this study is to review a rigorous and simple QI methodology (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control [DMAIC]) and demonstrate its use in a fellow-driven QI project aimed at reducing the number of delayed and canceled muscle biopsies at our institution. DMAIC was utilized. The project aim was to reduce the number of delayed muscle biopsies to 10% or less within 24 months. Baseline data were collected for 12 months. These data were analyzed to identify root causes for muscle biopsy delays and cancellations. Interventions were developed to address the most common root causes. Performance was then remeasured for 9 months. Baseline data were collected on 97 of 120 muscle biopsies during 2013. Twenty biopsies (20.6%) were delayed. The most common causes were scheduling too many tests on the same day and lack of fasting. Interventions aimed at patient education and biopsy scheduling were implemented. The effect was to reduce the number of delayed biopsies to 6.6% (6/91) over the next 9 months. Familiarity with QI methodologies such as DMAIC is helpful to ensure valid results and conclusions. Utilizing DMAIC, we were able to implement simple changes and significantly reduce the number of delayed muscle biopsies at our institution. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  5. Environmental risk assessment of water quality in harbor areas: a new methodology applied to European ports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Aina G; Ondiviela, Bárbara; Puente, Araceli; Juanes, José A

    2015-05-15

    This work presents a standard and unified procedure for assessment of environmental risks at the contaminant source level in port aquatic systems. Using this method, port managers and local authorities will be able to hierarchically classify environmental hazards and proceed with the most suitable management actions. This procedure combines rigorously selected parameters and indicators to estimate the environmental risk of each contaminant source based on its probability, consequences and vulnerability. The spatio-temporal variability of multiple stressors (agents) and receptors (endpoints) is taken into account to provide accurate estimations for application of precisely defined measures. The developed methodology is tested on a wide range of different scenarios via application in six European ports. The validation process confirms its usefulness, versatility and adaptability as a management tool for port water quality in Europe and worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses on psoriasis: role of funding sources, conflict of interest and bibliometric indices as predictors of methodological quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-García, F; Ruano, J; Aguilar-Luque, M; Gay-Mimbrera, J; Maestre-Lopez, B; Sanz-Cabanillas, J L; Carmona-Fernández, P J; González-Padilla, M; Vélez García-Nieto, A; Isla-Tejera, B

    2017-06-01

    The quality of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease that severely impairs quality of life and is associated with high costs, remains unknown. To assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews published on psoriasis. After a comprehensive search in MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Database (PROSPERO: CDR42016041611), the quality of studies was assessed by two raters using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) tool. Article metadata and journal-related bibliometric indices were also obtained. Systematic reviews were classified as low (0-4), moderate (5-8) or high (9-11) quality. A prediction model for methodological quality was fitted using principal component and multivariate ordinal logistic regression analyses. We classified 220 studies as high (17·2%), moderate (55·0%) or low (27·8%) quality. Lower compliance rates were found for AMSTAR question (Q)5 (list of studies provided, 11·4%), Q10 (publication bias assessed, 27·7%), Q4 (status of publication included, 39·5%) and Q1 (a priori design provided, 40·9%). Factors such as meta-analysis inclusion [odds ratio (OR) 6·22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·78-14·86], funding by academic institutions (OR 2·90, 95% CI 1·11-7·89), Article Influence score (OR 2·14, 95% CI 1·05-6·67), 5-year impact factor (OR 1·34, 95% CI 1·02-1·40) and article page count (OR 1·08, 95% CI 1·02-1·15) significantly predicted higher quality. A high number of authors with a conflict of interest (OR 0·90, 95% CI 0·82-0·99) was significantly associated with lower quality. The methodological quality of systematic reviews published about psoriasis remains suboptimal. The type of funding sources and author conflicts may compromise study quality, increasing the risk of bias. © 2017 British Association of Dermatologists.

  7. A Model of Risk Analysis in Analytical Methodology for Biopharmaceutical Quality Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Cleyton Lage; Herrera, Miguel Angel De La O; Lemes, Elezer Monte Blanco

    2018-01-01

    One key quality control parameter for biopharmaceutical products is the analysis of residual cellular DNA. To determine small amounts of DNA (around 100 pg) that may be in a biologically derived drug substance, an analytical method should be sensitive, robust, reliable, and accurate. In principle, three techniques have the ability to measure residual cellular DNA: radioactive dot-blot, a type of hybridization; threshold analysis; and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Quality risk management is a systematic process for evaluating, controlling, and reporting of risks that may affects method capabilities and supports a scientific and practical approach to decision making. This paper evaluates, by quality risk management, an alternative approach to assessing the performance risks associated with quality control methods used with biopharmaceuticals, using the tool hazard analysis and critical control points. This tool provides the possibility to find the steps in an analytical procedure with higher impact on method performance. By applying these principles to DNA analysis methods, we conclude that the radioactive dot-blot assay has the largest number of critical control points, followed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and threshold analysis. From the analysis of hazards (i.e., points of method failure) and the associated method procedure critical control points, we conclude that the analytical methodology with the lowest risk for performance failure for residual cellular DNA testing is quantitative polymerase chain reaction. LAY ABSTRACT: In order to mitigate the risk of adverse events by residual cellular DNA that is not completely cleared from downstream production processes, regulatory agencies have required the industry to guarantee a very low level of DNA in biologically derived pharmaceutical products. The technique historically used was radioactive blot hybridization. However, the technique is a challenging method to implement in a quality

  8. Reducing DNACPR complaints to zero: designing and implementing a treatment escalation plan using quality improvement methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shermon, Elizabeth; Munglani, Laura; Oram, Sarah; William, Linda; Abel, Julian

    2017-01-01

    Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR)decisions have traditionally formed the basis of ceiling of care discussions. However, poor quality discussions can lead to high patient and relative dissatisfaction, generating hospital complaints. Treatment escalation plans (TEPs) aim to highlight the wider remit of treatment options with a focus on effective communication. We aimed to improve TEP discussions and documentation at Weston General Hospital by introducing a standardised form. We aimed to develop a TEP document to reduce resuscitation-related complaints by improving communication and documentation. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected over 2 years and used to develop plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles using quality improvement methodology. Main barriers to improvement included time constraints and clinician's resistance. Analysis of patient liaison services data showed a progressive reduction in complaints regarding resuscitation, with no complaints having been received for the final six months of the project. Through use of a standardised form including treatment prompts, the quality of discussions and plans improved. Qualitative feedback demonstrated increased patient and relative satisfaction. In addition, junior doctors report the plans are helpful when making out-of-hours decisions. Development of a user-friendly form to document patient-guided TEPs helped junior doctors to lead advanced care planning discussions. The use of PDSA cycles demonstrated improvement in the quality of forms, which in turn improved communication, documentation and satisfaction. Future developments could include involvement of specialist teams to ensure TEP forms remain relevant to all clinical areas. In addition, with widespread use of the TEP forms, the traditional tick-box DNAR could be replaced to focus on patient-led care planning.

  9. Heteromer score – using internal standards to assess the quality of proteomic data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Wrzesinski, Krzysztof; Fey, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    of the method used to collect the data, requires no special sample preparation and can be used retrospectively on old datasets. It can be used for quality control, to indicate when a change becomes significant or identify complexes whose stoichiometry has been perturbed during the experiment....... of the analytical approach used. The abundance of one subunit in a heterodimer is plotted against the abundance of the other, and this is repeated for all subunits in all heteromers found in the data set. The correlation coefficient obtained (the “heteromer score”) is a new bioinformatic tool which is independent...

  10. The Image Quality of a Digital Chest X-Ray Radiography System: Comparison of Quantitative Image Quality Analysis and Radiologists' Visual Scoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, Ji Ho [Dept. of Radiology Oncology, Yongsan Hospital, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yongsan (Korea, Republic of); Chung, Myung Jin [Dept. of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Park, Darl; Kim, Won Taek; Kim, Yong Ho; Ki, Yong Kan; Kim, DFong Hyun; Lee, Ju Hee; Kim, Dong Won [Dept. of Radiology Oncology, Yongsan Hospital, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yongsan (Korea, Republic of); Jeon, Ho Sang [Reserach Institue for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Yongsan Hospital, Pusan National University College of Medicine, Yongsan (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-11-15

    To evaluate the performance of imaging devices, which should be periodically monitored to maintain high quality images to the radiologists. Additionally, this evaluation may prevent patients from radiation over-exposure. The most suitable engineering standard for imaging performance evaluation of digital X-ray thoracic images was determined. IEC 62220-1 standards were used to evaluate the performance of the images. In succession, the visibilities of overall image, pneumothorax, and humerus head in anthropomorphic thoracic phantom images were used to evaluate the image qualities by radiologists. The rank correlation coefficient (p) of visual scoring by radiologists with system spatial resolution is not meaningful (p-value, p = 0.295), but is significant with image noise (p-value, p -0.9267). Finally, the noise equivalent quanta (NEQ) presents a high rank correlation for visual scoring of radiologists (p-value, p = 0.9320). Image quality evaluation of radiologists were mainly affected by imaging noise. Hence, the engineered standard for evaluating image noise is the most important index to effectively monitor the performance of X-ray images. Additionally, the NEQ can be used to evaluate the performance of radiographic systems, because it theoretically corresponds to the synthetic image quality of systems.

  11. Diet quality of Italian yogurt consumers: an application of the probability of adequate nutrient intake score (PANDiet).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistura, Lorenza; D'Addezio, Laura; Sette, Stefania; Piccinelli, Raffaela; Turrini, Aida

    2016-01-01

    The diet quality in yogurt consumers and non-consumers was evaluated by applying the probability of adequate nutrient intake (PANDiet) index to a sample of adults and elderly from the Italian food consumption survey INRAN SCAI 2005-06. Overall, yogurt consumers had a significantly higher mean intake of energy, calcium and percentage of energy from total sugars whereas the mean percentage of energy from total fat, saturated fatty acid and total carbohydrate were significantly (p yogurt consumers than in non-consumers, (60.58 ± 0.33 vs. 58.58 ± 0.19, p yogurt consumers. The items of calcium, potassium and riboflavin showed the major percentage variation between consumers and non-consumers. Yogurt consumers were more likely to have adequate intakes of vitamins and minerals, and a higher quality score of the diet.

  12. [Efficiency versus quality in the NHS, in Portugal: methodologies for evaluation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldes, Maria do Rosário

    2008-01-01

    To proceed to the evaluation of the efficiency and quality in the NHS, based in methodologies of evaluation of management, indicators of benchmarking and indicators of process and outcome. The 1980 and 1990 decades have seen the proliferation of all forms of process indicators as a way to control health services. It is not a coincidence that the increase in managed care has been accompanied by an explosion of process indicators, as it has happened in the health system of the USA. More recently the attention has turned away from measures of performance, which measure the process (what has been done) to those which measure outcomes (what was the result). Quality indicators have been developed in Europe, first to be used in hospitals, but also to be used in primary health care. Conceptually the justification for the introduction of process indicators comes from the principle that their use will reinforce a modification in the quality of the proceedings, which will give origin to better outcomes as well at population level, as resource saving. Outcome indicators compared with process indicators in health care shows that process indicators have the advantage of being more sensitive than outcome indicators to differences in the quality. Optimizing health care quality has the objective of establishing a quantitative relationship between the quality of the health services and cost-effectiveness. To identify quality indicators and benchmarking and to implement plans to measure the quality of health care. In a study made in a group of senior GP, in the UK, with the objective of determining which process indicators better reflect the quality of the services in primary health care services a Delphi method was used. Only seven indicators were chosen by 75% of the respondents: the percentage of eligible patients receiving cervical screening; the percentage of generic prescribing; the percentage of eligible patients receiving childhood immunization; the percentage of eligible

  13. Clinical audit, a valuable tool to improve quality of care: General methodology and applications in nephrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Pasquale; Dal Canton, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Evaluation and improvement of quality of care provided to the patients are of crucial importance in the daily clinical practice and in the health policy planning and financing. Different tools have been developed, including incident analysis, health technology assessment and clinical audit. The clinical audit consist of measuring a clinical outcome or a process, against well-defined standards set on the principles of evidence-based medicine in order to identify the changes needed to improve the quality of care. In particular, patients suffering from chronic renal diseases, present many problems that have been set as topics for clinical audit projects, such as hypertension, anaemia and mineral metabolism management. Although the results of these studies have been encouraging, demonstrating the effectiveness of audit, overall the present evidence is not clearly in favour of clinical audit. These findings call attention to the need to further studies to validate this methodology in different operating scenarios. This review examines the principle of clinical audit, focusing on experiences performed in nephrology settings. PMID:25374819

  14. Methodological and Statistical Quality in Research Evaluating Nutritional Attitudes in Sports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouvelioti, Rozalia; Vagenas, George

    2015-12-01

    The assessment of dietary attitudes and behaviors provides information of interest to sports nutritionists. Although there has been little analysis of the quality of research undertaken in this field, there is evidence of a number of flaws and methodological concerns in some of the studies in the available literature. This review undertook a systematic assessment of the attributes of research assessing the nutritional knowledge and attitudes of athletes and coaches. Sixty questionnaire-based studies were identified by a search of official databases using specific key terms with subsequent analysis by certain inclusion-exclusion criteria. These studies were then analyzed using 33 research quality criteria related to the methods, questionnaires, and statistics used. We found that many studies did not provide information on critical issues such as research hypotheses (92%), the gaining of ethics approval (50%) or informed consent (35%), or acknowledgment of limitations in the implementation of studies or interpretation of data (72%). Many of the samples were nonprobabilistic (85%) and rather small (42%). Many questionnaires were of unknown origin (30%), validity (72%), and reliability (70%) and resulted in low (≤ 60%) response rates (38%). Pilot testing was not undertaken in 67% of the studies. Few studies dealt with sample size (2%), power (3%), assumptions (7%), confidence intervals (3%), or effect sizes (3%). Improving some of these problems and deficits may enhance future research in this field.

  15. Addressing Opioid-Associated Constipation Using Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Scores and Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Varinder; Haider, Sajjad; Sasapu, Appalanaidu; Mehta, Paulette; Arnaoutakis, Konstantinos; Makhoul, Issam

    2017-01-01

    Using the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, an affiliate program of ASCO, we outlined opioid-associated constipation (OAC) as a subject in need of quality improvement (QI) in our fellowship program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. We initiated a fellow-led QI project to advance the quality of patient care and provide a valuable avenue for QI training of young physicians. Fellows organized meetings with all stakeholders, addressed the scope of the problem, and devised strategies for OAC management. Monthly meetings were organized using Plan-Do-Study-Act principles. Mandatory check boxes were inserted into our electronic medical record templates to remind all physicians to identify patients on opioid medications and assess and address OAC. Final chart audit and patient satisfaction surveys were performed 6 months after project initiation. Assessment of OAC improved from 52% at baseline to 92% ( P < .003). This improvement corresponded with high patient satisfaction scores, with 90% of surveyed patients reporting adequate management of their constipation. In this QI initiative, we showed that participation in ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative helps identify areas in need of QI, and such fellow-led QI projects can serve as models for QI training of young physicians.

  16. Multi-attribute Evaluation of Website Quality in E-business Using an Integrated Fuzzy AHPTOPSIS Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tolga Kaya

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Success of an e-business company is strongly associated with the relative quality of its website compared to that of its competitors. The purpose of this study is to propose a multi-attribute e-business website quality evaluation methodology based on a modified fuzzy TOPSIS approach. In the proposed methodology, weights of the evaluation criteria are generated by a fuzzy AHP procedure. In performance evaluation problems, the judgments of the experts may usually be vague in form. As fuzzy logic can successfully deal with this kind of uncertainty in human preferences, both classical TOPSIS and classical AHP procedures are implemented under fuzzy environment. The proposed TOPSIS-AHP methodology has successfully been applied to a multi-attribute website quality evaluation problem in Turkish e-business market. Nine sub-criteria under four main categories are used in the evaluation of the most popular e-business websites of Turkey. A sensitivity analysis is also provided.

  17. Social control of the quality of public services: Theory, methodology and results of empirical research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evgeny A. Kapoguzov

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The article reveals the theoretical and methodological aspect of the problem of social control in relation to the possibility of its implementation in the production of public services. The interdisciplinary nature of the discourse on the nature of social control is presented, the evolution of ideas about it in the framework of social science concepts is presented, and the relationship with related categories is revealed, in particular, "public control", "civil control". The evolution of essence is also traced the category "institutionalization", it is shown the lack of unambiguousness in its interpretation. The normative value of the institutionalization of social practices in the implementation of institutional design is presented, in particular, with regard to the improvement of the provision of public services. The barriers of institutionalization of social control (resource, information, institutional for quality of public services are characterized. The results of a mass survey of consumers of public services conducted in December 2016 in the Multifunctional Center (MFC of city Omsk are presented. Unlike other surveys and publications that only assess the level of customer satisfaction and do not give a detailed explanation of the attitude of consumers to the ongoing institutional changes, this paper presents an analysis of consumer attitudes and beliefs to meaningful attributes of the quality of public services on the one hand, and for various institutional alternatives of influence on the quality of public services on the other. According to the results of the mass survey, the low readiness for social action was established due to high transaction costs, the rational ignorance and a free-rider problem. The possibility of institutionalizing the practice of social action and setting up consumers for the creation of a specialized organization for the protection of consumer rights in the production of public services was discussed.

  18. Development of a calibration methodology for instruments used to interventional radiology quality control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miranda, Jurema Aparecida de

    2009-01-01

    Interventional radiology is the technique where X radiation images are used as a tool in the conduction of diagnostic or/and therapeutic procedures. The exposition times are long for both procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic, may cause serious injuries in the patient, and also contribute to the dose of the clinical staff. In Brazil there are not yet well established rules to determine the doses and to make the dosimetry in fluoroscopic beams. There is great interest in this study, in relation to the beam quality, the half-value-layer, and others parameters. In this work a Medicor Neo Diagnomax clinical X ray generator, fluoroscopy mode, was used to develop a calibration methodology for instruments used in interventional radiology quality control. One plane parallel ionization chamber PTW was used as monitor. The ionization chambers recommended for fluoroscopy measurements had been evaluated and calibrated in relation to the IPEN Calibration Laboratory reference ionization chamber. The RQR3, RQR5 and RQR7 radiation qualities and the specific ones for fluoroscopy, RQC3, RQC5 and RQC7, were established following the norm IEC 61267. All beams characteristics were determined. Ionization chambers positioning system and the acrylic phantoms to the entrance and exit doses determination were developed and constructed. The results obtained show air kerma rates of 4.5x10 -3 , 1.2x10 -2 and 1.9x10 -2 Gy/min for RQC3, RQC5 and RQC7 respectively. Tests with and without the collimation just after the monitor chamber, were carried out and the results showed a difference of +5.5%, +0.6% e + 0.8%, confirming the importance of the collimation use in these interventionist procedures. (author)

  19. THE ARTHRITIS AND MUSCULOSKELETAL QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (AMQUIP: A BREAKTHROUGH SERIES METHODOLOGY PROJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MASTURA I

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The Australian government had funded the National Primary Care Collaborative (NPCC program with funding of $14.6 million over three years. One of the pilots project was the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Quality Improvement Program (AMQuIP.The study aims to optimize general practitioners (GPs management of patients with osteoarthritis (OA of the hip and knee by identifying gaps between their current practice and best practice. The Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology with several Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA cycles was employed. Participants comprises of 12 GPs/practices from two Victorian Divisions of general Practice (one rural, one metropolitan with 10 patients per GP/practice. GPs/practices attended an orientation and three learning workshops and a videoconference. GPs/practices completed PDSA cycles between workshop and reported results at workshops. GPs/practices reported use of guidelines, change in patient management and change in practice management/systems. All recruited patients completed the SF-12v2 Health Survey and WOMAC OA Index Questionnaire twice. Follow up activities including focus groups and face-to-face interviews were held six months after the final workshop. All GPs/practices used the guidelines/key messages, introduced “new” management strategies to patients, and made positive changes to their practice management/systems. Patient reported positive changes and outcomes. By using a structured methodology and evidence-based guidelines/key messages; GPs can introduce new patient management strategies, and by identifying gaps in practice management systems, positive changes can be achieved.

  20. Social exclusion in academia through biases in methodological quality evaluation: On the situation of women in science and philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuschner, Anna

    2015-12-01

    Empirical studies show that academia is socially exclusive. I argue that this social exclusion works, at least partly, through the systematic methodological disqualification of contributions from members of underrepresented social groups. As methodological quality criteria are underdetermined their interpretation and weighting can be biased with relation to gender, race, social background, etc. Such biased quality evaluation can take place on a local or global level. The current situation of women in academic philosophy illuminates this. I conclude that only mechanical solutions can effectively change the situation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A systematic and transparent approach for assessing the methodological quality of intervention effectiveness research: the Study Design and Implementation Assessment Device (Study DIAD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Jeffrey C; Cooper, Harris

    2008-06-01

    Assessments of studies meant to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programs, and policies can serve an important role in the interpretation of research results. However, evidence suggests that available quality assessment tools have poor measurement characteristics and can lead to opposing conclusions when applied to the same body of studies. These tools tend to (a) be insufficiently operational, (b) rely on arbitrary post-hoc decision rules, and (c) result in a single number to represent a multidimensional construct. In response to these limitations, a multilevel and hierarchical instrument was developed in consultation with a wide range of methodological and statistical experts. The instrument focuses on the operational details of studies and results in a profile of scores instead of a single score to represent study quality. A pilot test suggested that satisfactory between-judge agreement can be obtained using well-trained raters working in naturalistic conditions. Limitations of the instrument are discussed, but these are inherent in making decisions about study quality given incomplete reporting and in the absence of strong, contextually based information about the effects of design flaws on study outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Proposal for evaluating the quality of reports of surgical interventions in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: the Surgical Trigeminal Neuralgia Score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akram, Harith; Mirza, Bilal; Kitchen, Neil; Zakrzewska, Joanna M

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to design a checklist with a scoring system for reporting on studies of surgical interventions for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and to validate it by a review of the recent literature. A checklist with a scoring system, the Surgical Trigeminal Neuralgia Score (STNS), was devised partially based on the validated STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) criteria and customized for TN after a literature review and then applied to a series of articles. These articles were identified using a prespecified MEDLINE and Embase search covering the period from 2008 to 2010. Of the 584 articles found, 59 were studies of interventional procedures for TN that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and 56 could be obtained in full. The STNS was then applied independently by 3 of the authors. The maximum STNS came to 30, and was reliable and reproducible when used by the 3 authors who performed the scoring. The range of scores was 6-23.5, with a mean of 14 for all the journals. The impact factor scores of the journals in which the papers were published ranged from 0 to 4.8. Twenty-four of the studies were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery or in Neurosurgery. Studies published in neurosurgical journals ranked higher on the STNS scale than those published in nonneurosurgical journals. There was no statistically significant correlation between STNS and impact factors. Stereotactic radiosurgery (n = 25) and microvascular decompression (n = 15) were the most commonly reported procedures. The diagnostic criteria were stated in 35% of the studies, and 4 studies reported subtypes of TN. An increasing number of studies (46%) used the recommended Kaplan-Meier methodology for pain survival outcomes. The follow-up period was unclear in 8 studies, and 26 reported follow-ups of more than 5 years. Complications were reported fairly consistently but the temporal course was not always indicated. Direct interview, telephone conversation

  3. Correlation between Family APGAR scores and health-related quality of life of Filipino elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Anne T C; Manching, James; Penserga, Ester G

    2012-08-01

    This study aims to describe the clinical profile of Filipino patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and correlate their health-related quality of life (HrQoL) with perceived family support. This is a cross-sectional, analytical study of patients seen at the Philippine General Hospital Arthritis Clinic diagnosed with knee OA using the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria. Questionnaires for the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) v.3.1 and Family APGAR (Adaptation, Partnership, Growth, Affection and Resolve) were self-administered. Pearson's correlation, analysis of variance and Bonferroni tests were applied. Ninety patients with 3 : 1 female-to-male ratio, mean age of 70.14 years qualified for the study. Mean body mass index was 23.3. Mean duration of symptoms was 5.9 years. Fifty-three considered their family to be highly functional, 28 moderately dysfunctional and nine severely dysfunctional. Analysis showed that Family APGAR is moderately and inversely correlated with pain (r = -0.3373; P = 0.0002), stiffness (r = -0.3642; P = 0.0004), function (r = -0.3646; P = 0.0004) and total WOMAC scores (r = -0.3880; P = 0.0002). Likewise, there were significant differences of total WOMAC scores in the pain, stiffness and function subscales (P = 0.0076, P = 0.0032, P = 0.0165 and P = 0.0159, respectively) between patients in highly functional and severely dysfunctional families, and between highly and moderately functional families. As Family APGAR scores increased, there was significant decrease in all WOMAC subscales. We described the clinical profile of 90 elderly patients with knee OA and the relationship of HrQoL to Family APGAR scores. This paper concludes that higher Family APGAR scores in this population correlated with better HrQoL. © 2012 The Authors International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases © 2012 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  4. Quality control methodology for high-throughput protein-protein interaction screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez, Alexei; Rual, Jean-François; Venkatesan, Kavitha

    2011-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are key to many aspects of the cell, including its cytoskeletal structure, the signaling processes in which it is involved, or its metabolism. Failure to form protein complexes or signaling cascades may sometimes translate into pathologic conditions such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases. The set of all protein interactions between the proteins encoded by an organism constitutes its protein interaction network, representing a scaffold for biological function. Knowing the protein interaction network of an organism, combined with other sources of biological information, can unravel fundamental biological circuits and may help better understand the molecular basics of human diseases. The protein interaction network of an organism can be mapped by combining data obtained from both low-throughput screens, i.e., "one gene at a time" experiments and high-throughput screens, i.e., screens designed to interrogate large sets of proteins at once. In either case, quality controls are required to deal with the inherent imperfect nature of experimental assays. In this chapter, we discuss experimental and statistical methodologies to quantify error rates in high-throughput protein-protein interactions screens.

  5. 40 CFR Appendix D to Part 132 - Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative Methodology for the Development of Wildlife Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Methodology for the Development of Wildlife Criteria D Appendix D to Part 132 Protection of Environment... Development of Wildlife Criteria Great Lakes States and Tribes shall adopt provisions consistent with (as protective as) this appendix. I. Introduction A. A Great Lakes Water Quality Wildlife Criterion (GLWC) is the...

  6. Review and evaluation of the methodological quality of the existing guidelines and recommendations for inherited neurometabolic disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassis, Linda; Cortès-Saladelafont, Elisenda; Molero-Luis, Marta

    2015-01-01

    and timely treatments are often pivotal for the favorable course of the disease. Thus, the elaboration of new evidence-based recommendations for iNMD diagnosis and management is increasingly requested by health care professionals and patients, even though the methodological quality of existing guidelines...

  7. [Needs assessment to improve the applicability and methodological quality of a German S3 guideline].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burckhardt, Marion; Hoffmann, Cristina; Nink-Grebe, Brigitte; Sänger, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

    Clinical practice guidelines can change the practice in healthcare only if their recommendations are implemented in a comprehensive way. The German S3 guideline "Local Therapy of Chronic Wounds in Patients with Peripheral Vascular Disease, Chronic Venous Insufficiency, and Diabetes" will be updated in 2017. The emphasis here is on the guideline's validity, user-friendliness and implementation into practice. Therefore, the aim was to identify the improvements required in regard to the guideline's methods and content presentation. The methodological approach used was the critical appraisal of the guideline according to established quality criteria and an additional stakeholder survey. Both were conducted between August and November 2016. The guideline and its related documents were reviewed independently by two researchers according to the criteria of the "Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation" (AGREE-II). Published reviews and peer reviews by external experts and organisations were also taken into account. For the stakeholder survey, a questionnaire with open questions was distributed by e-mail and via the Internet to health professionals and organisations involved in the care of patients with leg ulcers in Germany. The questions were aimed at amendments and new topics based on the stakeholders' experience in inpatient and outpatient care. In addition, the survey focused on gathering suggestions to improve the applicability of the guideline. Suggested new topics and amendments were summarised thematically. The stakeholders' suggestions to improve the applicability, the results of the critical appraisal and the relevant aspects of the external reviews were then summarised according to the AGREE-II domains and presented in a cause and effect diagram. 17 questionnaires (out of 864 sent out by e-mail) were returned. Due to high practice relevance, the stakeholders suggested an expansion of the inclusion criteria to patients with infected wounds and

  8. Low quality of life scores in school children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder related to anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Zambrano-Sánchez

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is an alteration that begins early in infancy and whose cardinal symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There are few studies for specific tests to measure Quality of Life (QoL in children with ADHD. METHODS: We evaluated QoL of 120 children from 7-12 years of age with ADHD and of a group of 98 healthy control children. To measure QoL, we utilized the Questionnaire of Quality of Life for Children in Pictures (AutoQuestionnaire Qualité de Vie Enfant Imagé, AUQUEI. We evaluated anxiety in children by the Children´s Manifest Anxiety Scale-Revisited (CMAS-R. We compared results among groups and employed the calculation of correlation between the AUQUEI questionnaire and the CMAS-R scale. RESULTS: The total average of the AUQUEI questionnaire in children with ADHD was 45.2, while in the control group it was 54.3 (p<0.05. We also observed significant differences between the control group and groups of children with ADHD in the CMAS-R scale. We found significant correlations between AUQUEI questionnaire and CMAS-R scale. CONCLUSION: The main result was to the disclosure that low QoL scores in ADHD children was anxiety-related.

  9. Low quality of life scores in school children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder related to anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambrano-Sánchez, Elizabeth; Martínez-Cortés, José A; del Río-Carlos, Yolanda; Dehesa-Moreno, Minerva; Poblano, Adrián

    2012-03-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an alteration that begins early in infancy and whose cardinal symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There are few studies for specific tests to measure Quality of Life (QoL) in children with ADHD. We evaluated QoL of 120 children from 7-12 years of age with ADHD and of a group of 98 healthy control children. To measure QoL, we utilized the Questionnaire of Quality of Life for Children in Pictures (AutoQuestionnaire Qualité de Vie Enfant Imagé, AUQUEI). We evaluated anxiety in children by the Children´s Manifest Anxiety Scale-Revisited (CMAS-R). We compared results among groups and employed the calculation of correlation between the AUQUEI questionnaire and the CMAS-R scale. The total average of the AUQUEI questionnaire in children with ADHD was 45.2, while in the control group it was 54.3 (pCMAS-R scale. We found significant correlations between AUQUEI questionnaire and CMAS-R scale. The main result was to the disclosure that low QoL scores in ADHD children was anxiety-related.

  10. Quality of methodological reporting of randomized clinical trials of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (sglt2 inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadeel Alfahmi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2 inhibitors are a new class of medicines approved recently for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. To improve the quality of randomized clinical trial (RCT reports, the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT statement for methodological features was created. For achieving our objective in this study, we assessed the quality of methodological reporting of RCTs of SGLT2 inhibitors according to the 2010 CONSORT statement. We reviewed and analyzed the methodology of SGLT2 inhibitors RCTs that were approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA. Of the 27 trials, participants, eligibility criteria, and additional analyses were reported in 100% of the trials. In addition, trial design, interventions, and statistical methods were reported in 96.3% of the trials. Outcomes were reported in 93.6% of the trials. Settings were reported in 85.2% of the trials. Blinding and sample size were reported in 66.7 and 59.3% of the trials, respectively. Sequence allocation and the type of randomization were reported in 63 and 74.1% of the trials, respectively. Besides those, a few methodological items were inadequate in the trials. Allocation concealment was inadequate in most of the trials. It was reported only in 11.1% of the trials. The majority of RCTs have high percentage adherence for more than half of the methodological items of the 2010 CONSORT statement.

  11. Development of a methodology for the analysis of the crystalline quality of single crystals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metairon, Sabrina

    1999-01-01

    This work aims to establish a methodology for the analysis of the crystalline quality of single crystals. It is shown in the work as from neutron diffraction tridimensional rocking curves it is possible to determine the intrinsic widths at half maximum of the crystalline domains of a crystal, as well as the relative intensities of such domains and the angular distances between them. The construction of contour maps, on the bases of the tridimensional curves, make easier the determination of the above characteristics. For the development of the method, tridimensional rocking curves (I x ω x χ) have been obtained with neutrons from a barium lithium fluoride (BaLiF 3 ) and an aluminum crystal. The intensity I was obtained as rocking curves around the ω axis, with the angle % varying in a convenient interval. The individual (I x ω) and (I x χ) curves, which constitute the tridimensional rocking curve, were fitted by Gaussians and, in continuation of the process, the instrumental broadenings in directions ω and χ were deconvoluted from them. The instrumental broadenings were obtained with perfect type lithium fluoride (LiF) single crystals in the form of rocking curves around the ω and χ axes. Due to an enhanced Lorentz factor in direction χ, the scale in this direction was 'shrunk' by a correction factor in order to make the widths at half maximum of domains equivalent to those found in direction co. The contour map constructed with the deconvoluted rocking curves for BaLiF 3 , showed the existence of a 'proximity effect' that occurs when the widths at half maximum of domains have values near the value of the instrumental broadening. The contour map constructed with the deconvoluted rocking curves for aluminum, showed five domains of the mosaic type. Such domains were characterized concerning the width at half maximum, relative intensity and distance between them. (author)

  12. Using Lean Six Sigma Methodology to Improve Quality of the Anesthesia Supply Chain in a Pediatric Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Renée J; Wilson, Ashley E; Quezado, Zenaide

    2017-03-01

    Six Sigma and Lean methodologies are effective quality improvement tools in many health care settings. We applied the DMAIC methodology (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) to address deficiencies in our pediatric anesthesia supply chain. We defined supply chain problems by mapping existing processes and soliciting comments from those involved. We used daily distance walked by anesthesia technicians and number of callouts for missing supplies as measurements that we analyzed before and after implementing improvements (anesthesia cart redesign). We showed improvement in the metrics after those interventions were implemented, and those improvements were sustained and thus controlled 1 year after implementation.

  13. Social cognition interventions for people with schizophrenia: a systematic review focussing on methodological quality and intervention modality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Nina; Lawrence, Megan; Preti, Antonio; Wykes, Til; Cella, Matteo

    2017-08-01

    People with a diagnosis of schizophrenia have significant social and functional difficulties. Social cognition was found to influences these outcomes and in recent years interventions targeting this domain were developed. This paper reviews the existing literature on social cognition interventions for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia focussing on: i) comparing focussed (i.e. targeting only one social cognitive domain) and global interventions and ii) studies methodological quality. Systematic search was conducted on PubMed and PsycInfo. Studies were included if they were randomised control trials, participants had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and the intervention targeted at least one out of four social cognition domains (i.e. theory of mind, affect recognition, social perception and attribution bias). All papers were assessed for methodological quality. Information on the intervention, control condition, study methodology and the main findings from each study were extracted and critically summarised. Data from 32 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, considering a total of 1440 participants. Taking part in social cognition interventions produced significant improvements in theory of mind and affect recognition compared to both passive and active control conditions. Results were less clear for social perception and attributional bias. Focussed and global interventions had similar results on outcomes. Overall study methodological quality was modest. There was very limited evidence showing that social cognitive intervention result in functional outcome improvement. The evidence considered suggests that social cognition interventions may be a valuable approach for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, evidence quality is limited by measure heterogeneity, modest study methodology and short follow-up periods. The findings point to a number of recommendations for future research, including measurement standardisation

  14. The relationship between observer-based toxicity scoring and patient assessed symptom severity after treatment for head and neck cancer. A correlative cross sectional study of the DAHANCA toxicity scoring system and the EORTC quality of life questionnaires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, Kenneth; Bonde Jensen, Anders; Grau, Cai

    2006-01-01

    Background and purpose: Morbidity is an important issue in cancer research. The observer-based toxicity scoring system used by DAHANCA (the Danish head and neck cancer study group) has proved itself sensitive to differences in toxicity in a large randomised study, but like other toxicity scoring systems it has not been formally validated. Conversely, the EORTC quality of life questionnaire (QLQ) has been validated as a tool for collecting information about the consequences of disease and treatment on the well being of cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the two methods of side effect recording. Patients and methods: One hundred and sixteen recurrence free patients with laryngeal (n=44), pharyngeal (n=34) and oral cavity (n=38) cancer attending follow-up after radiotherapy (n=83) or surgery (n=33) completed EORTC C30, the core questionnaire concerning general symptoms and function and EORTC H and N35 the head and neck specific questionnaire. The attending physicians in the follow-up clinic evaluated and recorded DAHANCA toxicity scores on the same patients. Results: The DAHANCA toxicity scoring system and the EORTC QLQ correlated with several clinical endpoints. The conceptually similar endpoints of the two methods correlated significantly. The objective endpoints of the DAHANCA scoring system were only correlated with quality of life endpoints to a very low degree. The DAHANCA toxicity scores had a low sensitivity (0.48-0.74) in detecting equivalent subjective complaints from the questionnaires and the observer-based scoring system severely underestimated patient complaints. A specific patient group where the DAHANCA score had a higher tendency to fail could not be detected. Conclusion: The DAHANCA toxicity score is an effective instrument in assessing objective treatment induced toxicity in head and neck cancer patients but insensitive and non-specific with regard to patient assessed subjective endpoints. This

  15. Genomic prediction using different estimation methodology, blending and cross-validation techniques for growth traits and visual scores in Hereford and Braford cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, G S; Reimann, F A; Cardoso, L L; Ferreira, C E R; Junqueira, V S; Schmidt, P I; Braccini Neto, J; Yokoo, M J I; Sollero, B P; Boligon, A A; Cardoso, F F

    2018-05-07

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the accuracy and bias of direct and blended genomic predictions using different methods and cross-validation techniques for growth traits (weight and weight gains) and visual scores (conformation, precocity, muscling and size) obtained at weaning and at yearling in Hereford and Braford breeds. Phenotypic data contained 126,290 animals belonging to the Delta G Connection genetic improvement program, and a set of 3,545 animals genotyped with the 50K chip and 131 sires with the 777K. After quality control, 41,045 markers remained for all animals. An animal model was used to estimate (co)variances components and to predict breeding values, which were later used to calculate the deregressed estimated breeding values (DEBV). Animals with genotype and phenotype for the traits studied were divided into four or five groups by random and k-means clustering cross-validation strategies. The values of accuracy of the direct genomic values (DGV) were moderate to high magnitude for at weaning and at yearling traits, ranging from 0.19 to 0.45 for the k-means and 0.23 to 0.78 for random clustering among all traits. The greatest gain in relation to the pedigree BLUP (PBLUP) was 9.5% with the BayesB method with both the k-means and the random clustering. Blended genomic value accuracies ranged from 0.19 to 0.56 for k-means and from 0.21 to 0.82 for random clustering. The analyzes using the historical pedigree and phenotypes contributed additional information to calculate the GEBV and in general, the largest gains were for the single-step (ssGBLUP) method in bivariate analyses with a mean increase of 43.00% among all traits measured at weaning and of 46.27% for those evaluated at yearling. The accuracy values for the marker effects estimation methods were lower for k-means clustering, indicating that the training set relationship to the selection candidates is a major factor affecting accuracy of genomic predictions. The gains in

  16. MODERN CONCEPTS OF THE SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY FOR IMPROVING THE QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARGARITA JANESKA

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Product quality is generally accepted as being crucial in today’s industrial business. The traditional aspects of product quality are connected to product design (translating customer demands into attractive features and technical specifications and to the design and specification of high performance production processes with low defect rates. Quality management is the general expression for all actions leading to quality. Quality management is focused on improving customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of processes including the removal of uncertain activities, and continuous improvement of the quality of processes, products and services. The quality management includes four key processes, such as quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality costs. The main accent in this paper will be on quality control and the application of one of the quality control tools in order to improve it. Six Sigma is different from other quality improvement concepts in that its framework is comprised of many principles, tools and techniques, which, together with experience, are all integrated and translated into best practices. Bearing in mind that the goal of every company is to work effectively and effectively in the long run, this paper focuses on Six Sigma as a way to continuously improve quality. Namely, this paper emphasizes the key features of the quality of products / services, the Need for the application of Six Sigma for quality assurance, and also a detailed list of tools and techniques that can be used during the implementation of Six Sigma.

  17. Independent assessment of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) sample preparation quality: A novel statistical approach for quality scoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooijman, Pieter C; Kok, Sander J; Weusten, Jos J A M; Honing, Maarten

    2016-05-05

    Preparation of samples according to an optimized method is crucial for accurate determination of polymer sample characteristics by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) analysis. Sample preparation conditions such as matrix choice, cationization agent, deposition technique or even the deposition volume should be chosen to suit the sample of interest. Many sample preparation protocols have been developed and employed, yet finding the optimal sample preparation protocol remains a challenge. Because an objective comparison between the results of diverse protocols is not possible, "gut-feeling" or "good enough" is often decisive in the search for an optimum. This implies that sub-optimal protocols are used, leading to a loss of mass spectral information quality. To address this problem a novel analytical strategy based on MALDI imaging and statistical data processing was developed in which eight parameters were formulated to objectively quantify the quality of sample deposition and optimal MALDI matrix composition and finally sum up to an overall quality score of the sample deposition. These parameters can be established in a fully automated way using commercially available mass spectrometry imaging instruments without any hardware adjustments. With the newly developed analytical strategy the highest quality MALDI spots were selected, resulting in more reproducible and more valuable spectra for PEG in a variety of matrices. Moreover, our method enables an objective comparison of sample preparation protocols for any analyte and opens up new fields of investigation by presenting MALDI performance data in a clear and concise way. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Non-pharmacological sleep interventions for youth with chronic health conditions: a critical review of the methodological quality of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Cary A; Kuo, Melissa; Phillips, Leah; Berry, Robyn; Tan, Maria

    2013-07-01

    Restorative sleep is clearly linked with well-being in youth with chronic health conditions. This review addresses the methodological quality of non-pharmacological sleep intervention (NPSI) research for youth with chronic health conditions. The Guidelines for Critical Review (GCR) and the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool (EPHPP) were used in the review. The search yielded 31 behavioural and 10 non-behavioural NPSI for review. Most studies had less than 10 participants. Autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and visual impairments were the conditions that most studies focused upon. The global EPHPP scores indicated most reviewed studies were of weak quality. Only 7 studies were rated as moderate, none were strong. Studies rated as weak quality frequently had recruitment issues; non-blinded participants/parents and/or researchers; and used outcome measures without sound psychometric properties. Little conclusive evidence exists for NPSIs in this population. However, NPSIs are widely used and these preliminary studies demonstrate promising outcomes. There have not been any published reports of negative outcomes that would preclude application of the different NPSIs on a case-by-case basis guided by clinical judgement. These findings support the need for more rigorous, applied research. • Methodological Quality of Sleep Research • Disordered sleep (DS) in youth with chronic health conditions is pervasive and is important to rehabilitation therapists because DS contributes to significant functional problems across psychological, physical and emotional domains. • Rehabilitation therapists and other healthcare providers receive little education about disordered sleep and are largely unaware of the range of assessment and non-pharmacological intervention strategies that exist. An evidence-based website of pediatric sleep resources can be found at http

  19. Promoting Continuous Quality Improvement in the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance Through Q-Sort Methodology and Learning Collaboratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fifolt, Matthew; Preskitt, Julie; Rucks, Andrew; Corvey, Kathryn; Benton, Elizabeth Cason

    Q-sort methodology is an underutilized tool for differentiating among multiple priority measures. The authors describe steps to identify, delimit, and sort potential health measures and use selected priority measures to establish an overall agenda for continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities within learning collaboratives. Through an iterative process, the authors vetted a list of potential child and adolescent health measures. Multiple stakeholders, including payers, direct care providers, and organizational representatives sorted and prioritized measures, using Q-methodology. Q-methodology provided the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) an objective and rigorous approach to system improvement. Selected priority measures were used to design learning collaboratives. An open dialogue among stakeholders about state health priorities spurred greater organizational buy-in for ACHIA and increased its credibility as a statewide provider of learning collaboratives. The integrated processes of Q-sort methodology, learning collaboratives, and CQI offer a practical yet innovative way to identify and prioritize state measures for child and adolescent health and establish a learning agenda for targeted quality improvement activities.

  20. Quality of reporting and of methodology of studies on interventions for trophic ulcers in leprosy: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forsetlund L

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In the process of conducting a systematic review on interventions for skin lesions due to neuritis in leprosy, we assessed several primary papers with respect to the quality of reporting and methods used in the studies. Awareness of what constitutes weak points in previously conducted studies may be used to improve the planning, conducting and reporting of future clinical trials. Aims: To assess the quality of reporting and of methodology in studies of interventions for skin lesions due to neuritis in leprosy. Methods: Items of importance for preventing selection bias, detection bias, attrition bias and performance bias were among items assessed. The items for assessing methodological quality were used as a basis for making the checklist to assess the quality of reporting. Results: Out of the 854 references that we inspected eight studies were included on the basis of the inclusion criteria. The interventions tested were dressings, topical agents and footwear and in all studies healing of ulcers was the main outcome measure. Reporting of both, methods and results suffered from underreporting and disorganization. The most under-reported items were concealment of allocation, blinding of patients and outcome assessors, intention to treat and validation of outcomes. Conclusion: There is an apparent need to improve the methodological quality as well as the quality of reporting of trials in leprosy ulcer treatment. The most important threat in existing studies is the threat of selection bias. For the reporting of future studies, journals could promote and encourage the use of the CONSORT statement checklist by expecting and requiring that authors adhere to it in their reporting.

  1. The relationship between observer-based toxicity scoring and patient assessed symptom severity after treatment for head and neck cancer. A correlative cross sectional study of the DAHANCA toxicity scoring system and the EORTC quality of life questionnaires

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth; Bonde Jensen, Anders; Grau, Cai

    2006-01-01

          toxicity scoring systems it has not been formally validated. Conversely,       the EORTC quality of life questionnaire (QLQ) has been validated as a tool       for collecting information about the consequences of disease and treatment       on the well being of cancer patients. The purpose of this study......) completed       EORTC C30, the core questionnaire concerning general symptoms and function       and EORTC H&N35 the head and neck specific questionnaire. The attending       physicians in the follow-up clinic evaluated and recorded DAHANCA toxicity       scores on the same patients. RESULTS: The DAHANCA...... low degree. The       DAHANCA toxicity scores had a low sensitivity (0.48-0.74) in detecting       equivalent subjective complaints from the questionnaires and the       observer-based scoring system severely underestimated patient complaints.       A specific patient group where the DAHANCA score had...

  2. Association between Diet-Quality Scores, Adiposity, Total Cholesterol and Markers of Nutritional Status in European Adults: Findings from the Food4Me Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalind Fallaize

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Diet-quality scores (DQS, which are developed across the globe, are used to define adherence to specific eating patterns and have been associated with risk of coronary heart disease and type-II diabetes. We explored the association between five diet-quality scores (Healthy Eating Index, HEI; Alternate Healthy Eating Index, AHEI; MedDietScore, MDS; PREDIMED Mediterranean Diet Score, P-MDS; Dutch Healthy Diet-Index, DHDI and markers of metabolic health (anthropometry, objective physical activity levels (PAL, and dried blood spot total cholesterol (TC, total carotenoids, and omega-3 index in the Food4Me cohort, using regression analysis. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Participants (n = 1480 were adults recruited from seven European Union (EU countries. Overall, women had higher HEI and AHEI than men (p < 0.05, and scores varied significantly between countries. For all DQS, higher scores were associated with lower body mass index, lower waist-to-height ratio and waist circumference, and higher total carotenoids and omega-3-index (p trends < 0.05. Higher HEI, AHEI, DHDI, and P-MDS scores were associated with increased daily PAL, moderate and vigorous activity, and reduced sedentary behaviour (p trend < 0.05. We observed no association between DQS and TC. To conclude, higher DQS, which reflect better dietary patterns, were associated with markers of better nutritional status and metabolic health.

  3. Feasibility study and methodology to create a quality-evaluated database of primary care data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Bourke

    2004-11-01

    Conclusions In the group of practices studied, levels of recording were generally assessed to be of sufficient quality to enable a database of quality-evaluated, anonymised primary care records to be created.

  4. On the quality of global emission inventories. Approaches, methodologies, input data and uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olivier, J.G.J.

    2002-01-01

    Four key scientific questions will be investigated: (1) How does a user define the 'quality' of a global (or national) emission inventory? (Chapter 2); (2) What determines the quality of a global emission inventory? (Chapters 2 and 7); (3) How can inventory quality be achieved in practice and expressed in quantitative terms ('uncertainty')? (Chapters 3 to 6); and (4) What is the preferred approach for compiling a global emission inventory, given the practical limitations and the desired inventory quality? (Chapters 7 and 8)

  5. The Quality of Toddler Child Care and Cognitive Skills at 24 Months: Propensity Score Analysis Results from the ECLS-B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzek, Erik; Burchinal, Margaret; Farkas, George; Duncan, Greg J.

    2013-01-01

    Over half of the toddlers in the U.S. experience routine nonparental care, but much less is known about early care than about preschool care. This study analyzed 2-year-old child care and child outcome data from the nationally representative ECLS-B sample of children born in 2001. At two-years of age, 51% of children experienced exclusive parental care, 18% relative care, 15% family child care, and 16% center care. More children in nonparental care were in medium quality care (61%) than in high quality (26%) or low quality (13%) care. Low-income children were more likely than non-low income children to be cared for by their parents and, when in care, were more often in lower quality care. The impact of toddler care quality on cognitive skills was estimated using propensity score adjustments to account for potential selection confounds due to family and child characteristics. Children’s cognitive scores were higher in high or medium quality care than in low quality care, but no evidence emerged suggesting that poverty moderated the quality effects. Nevertheless, this suggests that increasing the proportion of low-income children in high quality care could reduce the achievement gap because low-income children are very unlikely to experience high quality care. PMID:24347815

  6. A staffing decision support methodology using a quality loss function : a cross-disciplinary quantitative study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mincsovics, G.Z.

    2009-01-01

    Background Understanding the quality loss implications of short staffing is essential in maintaining service quality on a limited budget. Objectives For elaborate financial control on staffing decisions, it is necessary to quantify the cost of the incidental quality loss that a given workload and

  7. Some problems in methodology of economjc evaluation of radiation technique quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kodyukov, V.M.; Purtova, M.I.; Sokolova, Z.I.; Smirnova, Z.M.

    1976-01-01

    The quality of radiation equipment (RE) should essentially be assessed when designing, standardizing, planning, and evaluating the cost and economy of RE. The basic factors are sited upon which subsequent economic assessment of quality levels were based. It also discusses the specifics involved in determining the principal quality factors for radioisotopic flaw-detection equipment and gamma-therapeutic instruments

  8. Quality Adjusted Life Years and Trade Off Exercises : exploring methodology and validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschuuren, Marieke

    2006-01-01

    Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are a popular outcome measure in cost-effectiveness analyses. QALYs are computed by multiplying follow-up or survival by a scaling factor reflecting health related quality of life, and as such capture quantity and quality gains simultaneously. Issues with regard

  9. Evaluation of Diabetes Quality of Care Based on a Care Scoring System among People Referring to Diabetes Clinic in Ardabil, 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Ataei

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Successful implementation of diabetes care can reduce acute and chronic complications of diabetes. This study was conducted to evaluate the quality of care according to a care scoring system among people with type 2 diabetes referring to the diabetes clinic in Ardabil. Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted in 2014 and a total of 300 people with type 2 diabetes in age range of 20-70 years old were included via convenience sampling. Data were collected by an interviewer using a structured questionnaire and checklist. Each patient was classified according to a quality of care scoring system into 3 categories: ≤10, 15-20, >20. Statistical analysis performed by SPSS v.20 software and descriptive analysis used to display data as frequency tables and graphs. Analytical tests such as ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, Chi squared, and fisher exact test were also used to analyze the data. Results: The mean age of patients was 54.13 ± 9.13 and the majority of them were women (72.3%. The mean of BMI and HbA1c was 29.58 ± 4.77 and 8.93± 2.13, respectively. The mean of FBS was 191.18 ± 84.23 and the average length of disease was 7.74±5.89 years. The mean of quality of care score among participants was 23.20±9.99. About one-third of patients (29.7% had a quality care score ≤10, half of them (51% had a score between 15-20, and only 19.35% had a score >20. There was an association between HbA1c, FBS, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol and LDL with a quality of care score which was statistically significant (p<0.05. Conclusion: In this study there was a gap between the current quality of care of patients and recommended standards. Therefore in order to minimize the current barriers and problems it is recommended to implement an effective interventional program. In addition, using a quality care scoring system is a rapid, easy and valid method for evaluating diabetes quality of care.

  10. Methodological comparison of marginal structural model, time-varying Cox regression, and propensity score methods : the example of antidepressant use and the risk of hip fracture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ali, M Sanni; Groenwold, Rolf H H; Belitser, Svetlana V; Souverein, Patrick C; Martín, Elisa; Gatto, Nicolle M; Huerta, Consuelo; Gardarsdottir, Helga; Roes, Kit C B; Hoes, Arno W; de Boer, Antonius; Klungel, Olaf H

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Observational studies including time-varying treatments are prone to confounding. We compared time-varying Cox regression analysis, propensity score (PS) methods, and marginal structural models (MSMs) in a study of antidepressant [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)] use and

  11. Randomized clinical trials in dentistry: Risks of bias, risks of random errors, reporting quality, and methodologic quality over the years 1955-2013.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humam Saltaji

    Full Text Available To examine the risks of bias, risks of random errors, reporting quality, and methodological quality of randomized clinical trials of oral health interventions and the development of these aspects over time.We included 540 randomized clinical trials from 64 selected systematic reviews. We extracted, in duplicate, details from each of the selected randomized clinical trials with respect to publication and trial characteristics, reporting and methodologic characteristics, and Cochrane risk of bias domains. We analyzed data using logistic regression and Chi-square statistics.Sequence generation was assessed to be inadequate (at unclear or high risk of bias in 68% (n = 367 of the trials, while allocation concealment was inadequate in the majority of trials (n = 464; 85.9%. Blinding of participants and blinding of the outcome assessment were judged to be inadequate in 28.5% (n = 154 and 40.5% (n = 219 of the trials, respectively. A sample size calculation before the initiation of the study was not performed/reported in 79.1% (n = 427 of the trials, while the sample size was assessed as adequate in only 17.6% (n = 95 of the trials. Two thirds of the trials were not described as double blinded (n = 358; 66.3%, while the method of blinding was appropriate in 53% (n = 286 of the trials. We identified a significant decrease over time (1955-2013 in the proportion of trials assessed as having inadequately addressed methodological quality items (P < 0.05 in 30 out of the 40 quality criteria, or as being inadequate (at high or unclear risk of bias in five domains of the Cochrane risk of bias tool: sequence generation, allocation concealment, incomplete outcome data, other sources of bias, and overall risk of bias.The risks of bias, risks of random errors, reporting quality, and methodological quality of randomized clinical trials of oral health interventions have improved over time; however, further efforts that contribute to the development of more stringent

  12. [Assessment of the methodological quality of theses submitted to the Faculty of Medicine Fez].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boly, A; Tachfouti, N; Zohoungbogbo, I S S; Achhab, Y El; Nejjari, C

    2014-06-09

    A thesis in medicine is a scientific work which allows a medical student to acquire a Doctor of Medicine degree. It is therefore recommended that theses presented by students fulfill essential methodological criteria in order to obtain scientifically credible results and recommendations. The aim of this study was to assess the methodology of thesis presented to the Faculty of Medicine in Fez in 2008. We developed an evaluation table containing questions on the different sections of the IMRAD structure on which these theses were based and we estimated the proportion of theses that conformed to each criterion. There were 160 theses on various specialties presented in 2008. The majority of the theses (79.3%) were case series. Research questions were clearly expressed in 62.0% but the primary objectives were pertinent in only 52.0%. Our study shows that there were important deficiencies in the methodological rigor of the theses and very little representation of the theses in publications.

  13. Development of Process Control Methodology for Tracking the Quality and Safety of Pain, Agitation, and Sedation Management in Critical Care Units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Timothy S; Kydonaki, Kalliopi; Lee, Robert J; Everingham, Kirsty; Antonelli, Jean; Harkness, Ronald T; Cole, Stephen; Quasim, Tara; Ruddy, James; McDougall, Marcia; Davidson, Alan; Rutherford, John; Richards, Jonathan; Weir, Christopher J

    2016-03-01

    To develop sedation, pain, and agitation quality measures using process control methodology and evaluate their properties in clinical practice. A Sedation Quality Assessment Tool was developed and validated to capture data for 12-hour periods of nursing care. Domains included pain/discomfort and sedation-agitation behaviors; sedative, analgesic, and neuromuscular blocking drug administration; ventilation status; and conditions potentially justifying deep sedation. Predefined sedation-related adverse events were recorded daily. Using an iterative process, algorithms were developed to describe the proportion of care periods with poor limb relaxation, poor ventilator synchronization, unnecessary deep sedation, agitation, and an overall optimum sedation metric. Proportion charts described processes over time (2 monthly intervals) for each ICU. The numbers of patients treated between sedation-related adverse events were described with G charts. Automated algorithms generated charts for 12 months of sequential data. Mean values for each process were calculated, and variation within and between ICUs explored qualitatively. Eight Scottish ICUs over a 12-month period. Mechanically ventilated patients. None. The Sedation Quality Assessment Tool agitation-sedation domains correlated with the Richmond Sedation Agitation Scale score (Spearman ρ = 0.75) and were reliable in clinician-clinician (weighted kappa; κ = 0.66) and clinician-researcher (κ = 0.82) comparisons. The limb movement domain had fair correlation with Behavioral Pain Scale (ρ = 0.24) and was reliable in clinician-clinician (κ = 0.58) and clinician-researcher (κ = 0.45) comparisons. Ventilator synchronization correlated with Behavioral Pain Scale (ρ = 0.54), and reliability in clinician-clinician (κ = 0.29) and clinician-researcher (κ = 0.42) comparisons was fair-moderate. Eight hundred twenty-five patients were enrolled (range, 59-235 across ICUs), providing 12,385 care periods for evaluation (range 655

  14. Mobile and Web 2.0 interventions for weight management: an overview of review evidence and its methodological quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardus, Marco; Smith, Jane R; Samaha, Laya; Abraham, Charles

    2016-08-01

    The use of Internet and related technologies for promoting weight management (WM), physical activity (PA), or dietary-related behaviours has been examined in many articles and systematic reviews. This overview aims to summarize and assess the quality of the review evidence specifically focusing on mobile and Web 2.0 technologies, which are the most utilized, currently available technologies. Following a registered protocol (CRD42014010323), we searched 16 databases for articles published in English until 31 December 2014 discussing the use of either mobile or Web 2.0 technologies to promote WM or related behaviors, i.e. diet and physical activity (PA). Two reviewers independently selected reviews and assessed their methodological quality using the AMSTAR checklist. Citation matrices were used to determine the overlap among reviews. Forty-four eligible reviews were identified, 39 of which evaluated the effects of interventions using mobile or Web 2.0 technologies. Methodological quality was generally low with only 7 reviews (16%) meeting the highest standards. Suggestive evidence exists for positive effects of mobile technologies on weight-related outcomes and, to a lesser extent, PA. Evidence is inconclusive regarding Web 2.0 technologies. Reviews on mobile and Web 2.0 interventions for WM and related behaviors suggest that these technologies can, under certain circumstances, be effective, but conclusions are limited by poor review quality based on a heterogeneous evidence base. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

  15. Applying the Tropos Methodology for Analysing Web Services Requirements and Reasoning about Qualities of Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aiello, Marco; Giorgini, Paolo

    2004-01-01

    The shift in software engineering from the design, implementation and management of isolated software elements towards a network of autonomous interoperable service is calling for a shift in the way software is designed. We propose the use of the agent-oriented methodology Tropos for the analysis of

  16. A Comparison of the Methodological Quality of Articles in Computer Science Education Journals and Conference Proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Justus J.; Julnes, George; Bednarik, Roman; Sutinen, Erkki

    2007-01-01

    In this study we empirically investigate the claim that articles published in computer science education journals are more methodologically sound than articles published in computer science education conference proceedings. A random sample of 352 articles was selected from those articles published in major computer science education forums between…

  17. Effect of clinical and laboratory parameters on quality of life in celiac patients using celiac disease-specific quality of life scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jungmin; Clarke, Kofi

    2017-11-01

    Health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) in patients with celiac disease is reduced compared to the general population. We investigated the association between HR-QOL and clinical, laboratory findings using the previously validated CD-QOL (celiac disease-specific quality of life) instrument in patients with celiac disease. To our knowledge, no study has previously explored the relationship between HR-QOL and clinical, laboratory parameters in celiac patients. Patients who received care at the Allegheny Health Network Celiac Center, Pittsburgh, PA were asked to complete the CD-QOL questionnaire. A cross sectional study with predetermined clinical and laboratory parameters was performed. Data collected included IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody titers, iron studies, calcium, vitamin A, B12, 25 OH vitamin D, and E levels. Correlation between clinical findings and CD-QOL was also assessed. Seventy-eight out of 124 patients who completed the questionnaire was included in the analysis. Patients with concomitant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had significantly reduced HR-QOL with CD-QOL score of 52.4 ± 11.3 vs. 44.6 ± 12.9 in those without IBS (p = .009). There was no difference in HR-QOL in relation to IgA tTG titers or vitamin D levels. Of note, there was a trend towards correlation between higher level of vitamin E and better QOL (r = -0.236, p = .074). Celiac patients with concomitant IBS have reduced HR-QOL. There was no statistically significant association between HR-QOL and laboratory parameters or levels of micronutrients.

  18. Can formal collaborative methodologies improve quality in primary health care in New Zealand? Insights from the EQUIPPED Auckland Collaborative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Celia; Bycroft, Janine; Healey, Kate; Field, Adrian; Ghafel, Mazin

    2012-12-01

    Auckland District Health Board was one of four District Health Boards to trial the Breakthrough Series (BTS) methodology to improve the management of long-term conditions in New Zealand, with support from the Ministry of Health. To improve clinical outcomes, facilitate planned care and promote quality improvement within participating practices in Auckland. Implementation of the Collaborative followed the improvement model / Institute for Healthcare Improvement methodology. Three topic areas were selected: system redesign, cardio-vascular disease/diabetes, and self-management support. An expert advisory group and the Improvement Foundation Australia helped guide project development and implementation. Primary Health Organisation facilitators were trained in the methodology and 15 practice teams participated in the three learning workshops and action periods over 12 months. An independent evaluation study using both quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted. Improvements were recorded in cardiovascular disease risk assessment, practice-level systems of care, self-management systems and follow-up and coordination for patients. Qualitative research found improvements in coordination and teamwork, knowledge of practice populations and understanding of managing long-term conditions. The Collaborative process delivered some real improvements in the systems of care for people with long-term conditions and a change in culture among participating practices. The findings suggest that by strengthening facilitation processes, improving access to comprehensive population audit tools and lengthening the time frame, the process has the potential to make significant improvements in practice. Other organisations should consider this approach when investigating quality improvement programmes.

  19. The Use of Quality Control and Data Mining Techniques for Monitoring Scaled Scores: An Overview. Research Report. ETS RR-12-20

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Davier, Alina A.

    2012-01-01

    Maintaining comparability of test scores is a major challenge faced by testing programs that have almost continuous administrations. Among the potential problems are scale drift and rapid accumulation of errors. Many standard quality control techniques for testing programs, which can effectively detect and address scale drift for small numbers of…

  20. Reporting health-related quality of life scores to physicians during routine follow-up visits of pediatric oncology patients: Is it effective?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelen, Vivian; Detmar, Symone; Koopman, Hendrik; Maurice-Stam, Heleen; Caron, Huib; Hoogerbrugge, Peter; Egeler, R. Maarten; Kaspers, Gertjan; Grootenhuis, Martha

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of the current study is to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention that provides health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores of the patient (the QLIC-ON PROfile) to the pediatric oncologist. Procedure. Children with cancer participated in a sequential cohort

  1. Reporting health-related quality of life scores to physicians during routine follow-up visits of pediatric oncology patients: Is it effective?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelen, V.; Detmar, S.; Koopman, H.; Maurice-Stam, H.; Caron, H.; Hoogerbrugge, P.; Egeler, R.M.; Kaspers, G.; Grootenhuis, M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The aim of the current study is to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention that provides health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores of the patient (the QLIC-ON PROfile) to the pediatric oncologist. Procedure: Children with cancer participated in a sequential cohort

  2. Reliability, construct and criterion validity of the KIDSCREEN-10 score: A short measure for children and adolescents' well-being and health-related quality of life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ravens-Sieberer, U.; Erhart, M.; Rajmil, L.; Herdman, M.; Auquier, P.; Bruil, J.; Power, M.; Duer, W.; Abel, T.; Czemy, L.; Mazur, J.; Czimbalmos, A.; Tountas, Y.; Hagquist, C.; Kilroe, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: To assess the criterion and construct validity of the KIDSCREEN-10 well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) score, a short version of the KIDSCREEN-52 and KIDSCREEN-27 instruments. Methods: The child self-report and parent report versions of the KIDSCREEN-10 were tested in a

  3. The Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) - A concept for describing protein quality in foods and food ingredients: A critical review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaafsma, G.

    2005-01-01

    Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Score (PDCAAS) is discussed. PDCAAS is now widely used as a routine assay for protein quality evaluation, replacing the more traditional biological methods [e.g., measurement of the Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) in rats]. PDCAAS is based on comparison of the

  4. Nutritional Quality of Breakfast and Physical Activity Independently Predict the Literacy and Numeracy Scores of Children after Adjusting for Socioeconomic Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dea, Jennifer A.; Mugridge, Anna C.

    2012-01-01

    Health-related behaviors [physical activity (PA), nutritional quality of breakfast and sleep]; personal variables (self-esteem, attitudes to PA and gender) and socioeconomic status (SES) (school SES and parental education), were examined in relation to literacy and numeracy scores of 824 grade 3-7 children. Participants completed a questionnaire,…

  5. Self-Evaluation Scores of Hearing Difficulties and Quality of Life Components among Retired Workers with Noise-Related Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    MIYAKITA, T.; UEDA, A.; ZUSHO, H.; KUDOH, Y.

    2002-02-01

    This study is intended to clarify the relationships between hearing loss caused both by noise exposure and aging and self-rated scores of hearing disabilities and to elucidate the structure of the quality of life (QOL) determinants and their moderating conditions among retired workers with noise-related hearing loss. The questionnaire consisted of three parts: background questions, the hearing disabilities and handicap scale (HDHS), and questions regarding QOL covering five areas, self-rated health, personal health practice, social support network, life satisfaction, and life events. Two hundred ten retired workers aged 56-65 years old (60·6±1·6) with noise-related hearing loss responded to our questionnaire. All were previously engaged in noise exposed work such as shipbuilding, steel and woodwork. According to the hearing disability score (DIS score), subjects were divided into three groups and comparisons were made of the hearing handicap score (HD score) among those groups. Although groups with a higher DIS score showed a higher HD score, a large individual difference in HD score was observed in each of the three groups with the same DIS score level. The results of multiple regression analysis including two variables (life satisfaction and HD score) as the dependent variables and seven variables as the independent variables showed that the strongest explanatory variable for life satisfaction was social support network, followed by handicaps caused by hearing disabilities, self-rated health and personal health practice. It was demonstrated that hearing disabilities and handicap measured by the Japanese version of the HDHS were directly associated with the deterioration in QOL. Measures of the social support network, life satisfaction, and hearing disabilities and handicaps may assist in the detection of workers who can be targeted for a variety of interventions, such as audiological rehabilitation or the creation of a barrier-free community that is supportive

  6. Maps of sharpness: a methodology to present results of quality control for mammographic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, Henrique Jesus Quintino de; Marques, Marcio Alexandre; Frere, Annie France; Schiable, Homero; Marques, Paulo M. Azevedo; Irita, Ricardo Toshiyuki

    1996-01-01

    A new method for evaluating radiologic imaging systems quality is presented. This method intends to relate the numeric results from quality control procedures to the magnitude of shadow and penumbra in the image from given objects. This evaluation is based on a computer simulation and it can be performed for any system and any object placed in any location of the radiation field

  7. Outcomes of Quality Assurance: A Discussion of Knowledge, Methodology and Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stensaker, Bjorn

    2008-01-01

    A common characteristic in many quality assurance schemes around the world is their implicit and often narrowly formulated understanding of how organisational change is to take place as a result of the process. By identifying some of the underlying assumptions related to organisational change in current quality assurance schemes, the aim of this…

  8. Quality benchmarking methodology: Case study of finance and culture industries in Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieva Zemīte

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Political, socio-economic and cultural changes that have taken place in the world during the last years have influenced all the spheres. Constant improvements are necessary to sustain in rival and shrinking markets. This sets high quality standards for the service industries. Therefore it is important to conduct comparison of quality criteria to ascertain which practices are achieving superior performance levels. At present companies in Latvia do not carry out mutual benchmarking, and as a result of that do not know how they rank against their peers in terms of quality, as well as they do not see benefits in sharing of information and in benchmarking.The purpose of this paper is to determine the criteria of qualitative benchmarking, and to investigate the use of the benchmarking quality in service industries, particularly: finance and culture sectors in Latvia in order to determine the key driving factors of quality, to explore internal and foreign benchmarks, and to reveal the full potential of inputs’ reduction and efficiency growth for the aforementioned industries.Case study and other tools are used to define the readiness of the company for benchmarking. Certain key factors are examined for their impact on quality criteria. The results are based on the research conducted in professional associations in defined fields (insurance and theatre.Originality/value – this is the first study that adopts the benchmarking models for measuring quality criteria and readiness for mutual comparison in insurance and theatre industries in Latvia.

  9. Application of Six Sigma Using DMAIC Methodology in the Process of Product Quality Control in Metallurgical Operation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girmanová Lenka

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Six Sigma DMAIC can be considered a guide for problem solving and product or process improvement. The majority of companies start to implement Six Sigma using the DMAIC methodology. The paper deals with application of Six Sigma using the DMAIC methodology in the process of product quality control. The case study is oriented on the field of metallurgical operations. The goal of the Six Sigma project was to ensure the required metallurgic product quality and to avoid an increase in internal costs associated with poor product quality. In this case study, a variety of tools and techniques like flow chart, histogram, Pareto diagram, analysis of FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis data, cause and effect diagram, logical analysis was used. The Sigma level has improved by approximately 13%. The achieved improvements have helped to reduce the quantity of defective products and the processing costs (technology for re-adjusting. Benefits resulting from the DMAIC implementation can be divided into three levels: the qualitative, economic and safety level.

  10. Designing a Score-Based Method for the Evaluation of the Nutritional Quality of the Gluten-Free Bakery Products and their Gluten-Containing Counterparts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morreale, Federico; Angelino, Donato; Pellegrini, Nicoletta

    2018-04-25

    Gluten-free (GF) products are consumed both by individuals with celiac disease and by an increasing number of people with no specific medical needs. Although the technological quality of GF products has been recently improved, their nutritional quality is still scarcely addressed. Moreover, the few published studies report conflicting results, mostly because the information from product nutrition facts is the only considered factor. The aim of the present study was to develop a score-based method for the nutritional evaluation of 134 packaged Italian GF bakery products and to compare it with that of 162 matched gluten-containing (GC) food items. The score included the information from the nutrition facts and the presence/absence of some nutritionally relevant components in the ingredients list. Results indicated an overall low nutritional quality of the considered GF bakery products. Additionally, with the sole exception of GF bread substitutes, there was no difference in nutritional quality between GF and equivalent GC bakery products. Future research and development of GF bakery products may take advantage of this scoring method, as it may represent an easy approach to evaluate their nutritional quality. The present findings do not justify the consumption of packaged GF bakery products by people without any specific medical needs.

  11. Regional Emphysema Score Predicting Overall Survival, Quality of Life, and Pulmonary Function Recovery in Early-Stage Lung Cancer Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Jie; Liu, Ming; Swensen, Stephen J; Stoddard, Shawn M; Wampfler, Jason A; Limper, Andrew H; Jiang, Gening; Yang, Ping

    2017-05-01

    Pulmonary emphysema is a frequent comorbidity in lung cancer, but its role in tumor prognosis remains obscure. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of the regional emphysema score (RES) on a patient's overall survival, quality of life (QOL), and recovery of pulmonary function in stage I to II lung cancer. Between 1997 and 2009, a total of 1073 patients were identified and divided into two surgical groups-cancer in the emphysematous (group 1 [n = 565]) and nonemphysematous (group 2 [n = 435]) regions-and one nonsurgical group (group 3 [n = 73]). RES was derived from the emphysematous region and categorized as mild (≤5%), moderate (6%-24%), or severe (25%-60%). In group 1, patients with a moderate or severe RES experienced slight decreases in postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second, but increases in the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity compared with those with a mild RES (p < 0.01); however, this correlation was not observed in group 2. Posttreatment QOL was lower in patients with higher RESs in all groups, mainly owing to dyspnea (p < 0.05). Cox regression analysis revealed that patients with a higher RES had significantly poorer survival in both surgical groups, with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.41 and 1.43 for a moderate RES and 1.63 and 2.04 for a severe RES, respectively; however, this association was insignificant in the nonsurgical group (adjusted hazard ratio of 0.99 for a moderate or severe RES). In surgically treated patients with cancer in the emphysematous region, RES is associated with postoperative changes in lung function. RES is also predictive of posttreatment QOL related to dyspnea in early-stage lung cancer. In both surgical groups, RES is an independent predictor of survival. Copyright © 2017 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Quality Control in Screening for Infectious Diseases at Blood Banks. Rationale and Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez-Alquezar, Amadeo; Albajar-Viñas, Pedro; Guimarães, André Valpassos; Corrêa, José Abol

    2015-11-01

    Quality control procedures are indispensable to ensure the reliability of the results provided by laboratories responsible for serological screening in blood banks. International recommendations on systems of quality management classify as a top component the inclusion of two types of control: (a) internal quality control (IQC) and (b) external quality control (EQC). In EQC it is essential to have, at least, a monthly frequency of laboratory assessment. On the other hand, IQC involves the daily use of low-reactivity control sera, which should be systematically added in all run, carried out in the laboratory for each parameter. Through the IQC analysis some variations in the criteria of run acceptance and rejection may be revealed, but it is of paramount importance to ensure the previous definition of these criteria and even more importantly, the adherence to them; and that corresponds to the validation of analytical runs of each test. Since 2010 this has been, for instance, the experience of the PNCQ*, developing external quality control programmes on serology for blood banks. These programmes use samples of lyophilized sera well-characterized for the reactivity related to the parameters used for the serological screening of blood donors. The programmes have used blind panels of six samples for monthly assessments. In the last 50 assessments, which involved 68 blood banks in Brazil, a significant number of instances of non-compliance were observed in all monthly assessments. These results provide strong support to the recommendation of systematic monthly assessments. (*) National Quality Control Programme (PNCQ).

  13. A comparison of the nutritional quality of organic and conventional ready-to-eat breakfast cereals based on NuVal scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodbury, Nancy J; George, Valerie A

    2014-07-01

    To identify whether there were differences in nutritional quality between organic and conventional ready-to-eat breakfast cereals of similar types, based on NuVal scores. The current descriptive study analysed NuVal scores for 829 ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and eighteen different cereal types. ANOVA was used to compare the mean NuVal scores of 723 conventional cereals with those of 106 organic cereals. Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals (n 829) with NuVal scores. Not applicable. There was no significant difference in NuVal scores between conventional (mean 28·4 (sd 13·4)) and organic (mean 30·6 (sd 13·2)) cereal types. Consumers who choose the organic version of a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal believing that nutritional quality is superior may not be making a valid assumption. Public health nutrition educators must help consumers understand that organic cereals are not necessarily more nutritious and their consumption could result in excessive intake of undesirable nutrients, such as fat, sugar and sodium.

  14. Body Movement Music Score – Introduction of a newly developed model for the analysis and description of body qualities, movement and music in music therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Agnieszka Skrzypek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background In music therapy, there is a range of music therapy concepts that, in addition to music, describe and analyse the body and movement. A model that equally examines the body, movement and music has not been developed. The Body Movement Music Score (BMMS is a newly developed and evaluated music therapy model for analysing body qualities, movement, playing style of musical instruments and music and to describe body behaviour and body expression, movement behaviour and movement expression, playing behaviour and musical expression in music therapy treatment. The basis for the development of the Body Movement Music Score was the evaluation of the analytical movement model Emotorics-Emotive Body Movement Mind Paradigm (Emotorics-EBMMP by Yona Shahar Levy for the analysis and description of the emotive-motor behaviour and movement expression of schizophrenic patients in music therapy treatment. Participants and procedure The application of the Body Movement Music Score is presented in a videotaped example from the music therapy treatment of one schizophrenic patient. Results The results of applying the Body Movement Music Score are presented in the form of Body Qualities I Analysis, Body Qualities II Analysis, Movement Analysis, Playing Style Analysis and Music Analysis Profiles. Conclusions The Body Movement Music Score has been developed and evaluated for the music therapy treatment of schizophrenic patients. For the development of the model, a proof of reliability is necessary to verify the reliability and limitations of the model in practice and show that the Body Movement Music Score could be used for both practical and clinical work, for documentation purposes and to impact research in music therapy.

  15. Interdepartmental interaction model on the extracurricular activities of students in the city of Surgut in the quality management system of the municipal state institution "Information and Methodological Center"

    OpenAIRE

    Loseva E. A.

    2018-01-01

    in this article the author considers interdepartmental interaction model in the field of extracurricular activities of students in the quality management system. The topic is examined on the example of the municipal state institution "Information and Methodological Center".

  16. The Mediterranean Diet Score Is More Strongly Associated with Favorable Cardiometabolic Risk Factors over 2 Years Than Other Diet Quality Indexes in Puerto Rican Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattei, Josiemer; Sotos-Prieto, Mercedes; Bigornia, Sherman J; Noel, Sabrina E; Tucker, Katherine L

    2017-04-01

    Background: Multiple diet quality scores have been used to evaluate adherence to specific dietary recommendations or to consumption of healthful foods and nutrients. It remains unknown which score can more strongly predict longitudinal changes in cardiometabolic risk factors. Objective: We aimed to determine associations of 5 diet quality scores [AHA diet score (AHA-DS), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005, Mediterranean diet score (MeDS), and Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)] with 2-y changes in cardiometabolic risk factors in adults 45-75 y old. Methods: Data from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study were analyzed ( n = 1194). Diet quality scores were calculated from a baseline-validated food-frequency questionnaire. Multivariable-adjusted, repeated-subjects, mixed-effects models, adjusted for baseline measures, estimated associations between each z score and 14 individual cardiometabolic factors measured at 2 y. Results: MeDS was significantly associated with lower 2-y waist circumference (β coefficient ± SE: -0.52 ± 0.26, P = 0.048); body mass index (BMI; -0.23 ± 0.08, P = 0.005); log-insulin (-0.06 ± 0.02, P = 0.005); log-homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; -0.05 ± 0.02, P = 0.030), and log-C-reactive protein (-0.13 ± 0.03, P = 0.0002). Similar but weaker associations were observed for the AHEI with BMI, insulin, and HOMA-IR. The AHA-DS was inversely associated with BMI (-0.17 ± 0.08, P = 0.033). Neither the HEI-2005 nor DASH was significantly associated with any variable. Traditional Puerto Rican foods consumed by individuals with high MeDSs included vegetables and meats in homemade soups, orange juice, oatmeal, beans and legumes, fish, whole milk, corn oil, and beer. Conclusions: The MeDS comprises food components and scores associated with a favorable cardiometabolic profile over 2 y in Puerto Rican adults. An overall healthy diet may be particularly beneficial for

  17. Application of kaizen methodology to foster departmental engagement in quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knechtges, Paul; Decker, Michael Christopher

    2014-12-01

    The Toyota Production System, also known as Lean, is a structured approach to continuous quality improvement that has been developed over the past 50 years to transform the automotive manufacturing process. In recent years, these techniques have been successfully applied to quality and safety improvement in the medical field. One of these techniques is kaizen, which is the Japanese word for "good change." The central tenant of kaizen is the quick analysis of the small, manageable components of a problem and the rapid implementation of a solution with ongoing, real-time reassessment. Kaizen adds an additional "human element" that all stakeholders, not just management, must be involved in such change. Because of the small size of the changes involved in a kaizen event and the inherent focus on human factors and change management, a kaizen event can serve as good introduction to continuous quality improvement for a radiology department. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. [Quality of life - methodology and clinical practice aspects with a focus on ocular medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franke, G H; Gall, C

    2008-08-01

    Due to the demographic development in western industrialised countries, the proportion of visually impaired persons is likely to increase in the future. Currently there is a shift in scientific recognition from relative neglect of psychopathological distress in the visually impaired to better notice of disease-related subjective impairments that are detectable with specific questionnaire measures. Visual acuity primarily determines the subjective rating of visual functioning independent from the eye disease. Ophthalmic patients who show only mild symptoms from a medical point of view normally suffer considerably diminished vision-related quality of life with respect to physical, functional, mental, and social aspects. Treatment effects have been shown using vision-related quality-of-life measures for different ophthalmic diseases, particularly cataract surgery. Assessment of vision-related quality of life provides a meaningful complement to objective data.

  19. Patient-reported Outcomes in Randomised Controlled Trials of Prostate Cancer: Methodological Quality and Impact on Clinical Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efficace, Fabio; Feuerstein, Michael; Fayers, Peter; Cafaro, Valentina; Eastham, James; Pusic, Andrea; Blazeby, Jane

    2014-01-01

    Context Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are increasingly used to inform patient-centred care as well as clinical and health policy decisions. Objective The main objective of this study was to investigate the methodological quality of PRO assessment in RCTs of prostate cancer (PCa) and to estimate the likely impact of these studies on clinical decision making. Evidence acquisition A systematic literature search of studies was undertaken on main electronic databases to retrieve articles published between January 2004 and March 2012. RCTs were evaluated on a predetermined extraction form, including (1) basic trial demographics and clinical and PRO characteristics; (2) level of PRO reporting based on the recently published recommendations by the International Society for Quality of Life Research; and (3) bias, assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Studies were systematically analysed to evaluate their relevance for supporting clinical decision making. Evidence synthesis Sixty-five RCTs enrolling a total of 22 071 patients were evaluated, with 31 (48%) in patients with nonmetastatic disease. When a PRO difference between treatments was found, it related in most cases to symptoms only (n = 29, 58%). Although the extent of missing data was generally documented (72% of RCTs), few reported details on statistical handling of this data (18%) and reasons for dropout (35%). Improvements in key methodological aspects over time were found. Thirteen (20%) RCTs were judged as likely to be robust in informing clinical decision making. Higher-quality PRO studies were generally associated with those RCTs that had higher internal validity. Conclusions Including PRO in RCTs of PCa patients is critical for better evaluating the treatment effectiveness of new therapeutic approaches. Marked improvements in PRO quality reporting over time were found, and it is estimated that at least one-fifth of PRO RCTs have provided sufficient

  20. Preferred 11 different job rotation types in automotive company and their effects on productivity, quality and musculoskeletal disorders: comparison between subjective and actual scores by workers' age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, In Sik; Jeong, Byung Yong; Jeong, Ji Hyun

    2016-10-01

    This study investigates workers' favoured rotation types by their age and compares means between subjective and actual scores on productivity, quality and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The subjects of research were 422 assembly line units in Hyundai Motor Company. The survey of 422 units focused on the workers' preference for 11 different rotation types and subjective scores for each type's perceived benefits, both by the workers' age. Then, actual scores on production-related indices were traced over a five-year period. The results suggest that different rotation types lead to different results in productivity, product quality and MSDs. Workers tend to perceive job rotation as a helpful method to enhance satisfaction, productivity and product quality more so than the actual production data suggests. Job rotation was especially effective in preventing MSDs for workers aged under 45, while its effects were not clear for the workers aged 45 years or older. Practitioner's Summary: This research presents appropriate rotation type for different age groups. Taking workers' age into account, administrators can use the paper's outcomes to select and implement the suitable rotation type to attain specific goals such as enhancing productivity, improving product quality or reducing MSDs.

  1. New methodology to implement quality control programs in medical imaging departments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furquim, Tania A.C.; Yanikian, Denise; Costa, Paulo R.

    1996-01-01

    The implementation of quality control programmes is studied in order to assure a better performance in medical imaging departments. The necessity of a continuous training of all technicians involved is highlighted. The contribution of these professionals is emphasized as fundamental to the success of the project

  2. Quality approach in in vivo nuclear medicine - Certification V2010 - Methodological guide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdelmoumene, Nafissa; Ferreol, Dominique; Blondet, Emmanuelle; Bonardel, Gerald; Bourrel, Francois; Broglia, Jean Marc; Guilabert, Nadine; Israel, Jean-Marc; Machacek, Catherine; Martineau, Antoine; Remy, Herve; Rousseliere, Francis; Abelmann, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    This document first presents the different components of the activity in in-vivo nuclear medicine: techniques (functional imagery, vectorized internal radiotherapy, cases outside the nuclear medicine department), team composition and missions, radiation protection regulations, benefits and risks. Then, it addresses the quality approach: quality management system defined according to a process-oriented approach, documentation. It proposes a sheet to assess the implementation of the quality approach. This sheet contains 129 criteria which are related to management (strategy, activity steering and coordination), to support functions (management of human resources and abilities, management of radioactive sources and wastes, radio-pharmacy within the nuclear medicine department, management of medical devices, information system), to patient taking on (management of appointments and patient identification, imagery examination justification, patient reception, patients presenting risks and peculiar situations, checking before radio-pharmaceutical drug administering, taking on for diagnosis purpose, taking for therapeutic purposes), and to assessment, analysis and improvement (management of undesirable events associated with cares, quality follow-up for continuous improvement)

  3. Quality evaluation of health information system's architectures developed using the HIS-DF methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Diego M; Blobel, Bernd; Gonzalez, Carolina

    2010-01-01

    Requirement analysis, design, implementation, evaluation, use, and maintenance of semantically interoperable Health Information Systems (HIS) have to be based on eHealth standards. HIS-DF is a comprehensive approach for HIS architectural development based on standard information models and vocabulary. The empirical validity of HIS-DF has not been demonstrated so far. Through an empirical experiment, the paper demonstrates that using HIS-DF and HL7 information models, semantic quality of HIS architecture can be improved, compared to architectures developed using traditional RUP process. Semantic quality of the architecture has been measured in terms of model's completeness and validity metrics. The experimental results demonstrated an increased completeness of 14.38% and an increased validity of 16.63% when using the HIS-DF and HL7 information models in a sample HIS development project. Quality assurance of the system architecture in earlier stages of HIS development presumes an increased quality of final HIS systems, which supposes an indirect impact on patient care.

  4. Interrelationships between man, energy, and water quality: a new methodology for integrative analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, E.; Thode, H.C. Jr.

    1979-01-01

    The STORET/MSP option was used to obtain county aggregated information on ambient water quality for sixty parameters during the period 1950 to 1978. Masks, extended EXTRACT specifications and bounds on allowable values limited inclusion of erroneous data. Remark codes were required to aggregate STORET parameters to obtain increased numbers of observations. Numerous statistical analyses led to the conclusions that medians were more useful than means, that trimming on number of observations was required to eliminate counties with extreme values, and that many parameters required logarithmic transformation to be useful in regional analyses. County aggregated data for nineteen water quality parameters were examined in terms of their ability to describe qualitative chemical characteristics of water. Anion--cation balances as well as expected relationships between conductivity and other parameters were correctly accounted for. Factor analysis indicated the existence of three principal components describing patterns between metal ions, non-metal ions, and alkalinity-bicarbonate, respectively. These factors were used in place of the original complete set of water quality parameters in a structural equation approach describing relationships between variables of mans activites. It was found that counties with high industrial electric consumption, farming and mineral shipments tended to have increased levels of most water quality parameters. It was also found that simpler path diagrams may be indicated to reduce the effects of redundancy in adequately describing energy--water relationships

  5. Control Charts in Healthcare Quality Improvement A Systematic Review on Adherence to Methodological Criteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koetsier, A.; van der Veer, S. N.; Jager, K. J.; Peek, N.; de Keizer, N. F.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: Use of Shewhart control charts in quality improvement (QI) initiatives is increasing. These charts are typically used in one or more phases of the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle to monitor summaries of process and outcome data, abstracted from clinical information systems, over time. We

  6. An evaluation of contaminated estuarine sites using sediment quality guidelines and ecological assessment methodologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, M; Key, P; Wirth, E; Leight, A K; Daugomah, J; Bearden, D; Sivertsen, S; Scott, G

    2006-10-01

    Toxic contaminants may enter estuarine ecosystems through a variety of pathways. When sediment contaminant levels become sufficiently high, they may impact resident biota. One approach to predict sediment-associated toxicity in estuarine ecosystems involves the use of sediment quality guidelines (ERMs, ERLs) and site-specific contaminant chemistry while a second approach utilizes site-specific ecological sampling to assess impacts at the population or community level. The goal of this study was to utilize an integrated approach including chemical contaminant analysis, sediment quality guidelines and grass shrimp population monitoring to evaluate the impact of contaminants from industrial sources. Three impacted sites and one reference site were selected for study. Grass shrimp populations were sampled using a push-netting approach. Sediment samples were collected at each site and analyzed for metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides. Contaminant levels were then compared to sediment quality guidelines. In general, grass shrimp population densities at the sites decreased as the ERM quotients increased. Grass shrimp densities were significantly reduced at the impacted site that had an ERM exceedance for chromium and the highest Mean ERM quotient. Regression analysis indicated that sediment chromium concentrations were negatively correlated with grass shrimp density. Grass shrimp size was reduced at two sites with intermediate levels of contamination. These findings support the use of both sediment quality guidelines and site-specific population monitoring to evaluate the impacts of sediment-associated contaminants in estuarine systems.

  7. Combining Statistical Methodologies in Water Quality Monitoring in a Hydrological Basin - Space and Time Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Costa, Marco; A. Manuela Gonçalves

    2012-01-01

    In this work are discussed some statistical approaches that combine multivariate statistical techniques and time series analysis in order to describe and model spatial patterns and temporal evolution by observing hydrological series of water quality variables recorded in time and space. These approaches are illustrated with a data set collected in the River Ave hydrological basin located in the Northwest region of Portugal.

  8. Data fusion methodologies for food and beverage authentication and quality assessment – A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borràs, Eva; Ferré, Joan; Boqué, Ricard; Mestres, Montserrat; Aceña, Laura; Busto, Olga

    2015-01-01

    The ever increasing interest of consumers for safety, authenticity and quality of food commodities has driven the attention towards the analytical techniques used for analyzing these commodities. In recent years, rapid and reliable sensor, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques have emerged that, together with multivariate and multiway chemometrics, have improved the whole control process by reducing the time of analysis and providing more informative results. In this progression of more and better information, the combination (fusion) of outputs of different instrumental techniques has emerged as a means for increasing the reliability of classification or prediction of foodstuff specifications as compared to using a single analytical technique. Although promising results have been obtained in food and beverage authentication and quality assessment, the combination of data from several techniques is not straightforward and represents an important challenge for chemometricians. This review provides a general overview of data fusion strategies that have been used in the field of food and beverage authentication and quality assessment. - Highlights: • Multivariate data fusion is used in food authentication and quality assessment. • Data fusion approaches and their applications are reviewed. • Data preprocessing, variable selection and feature extraction are considered. • Model selection and validation are also considered.

  9. Data fusion methodologies for food and beverage authentication and quality assessment – A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borràs, Eva [iSens Group, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona (Spain); Ferré, Joan, E-mail: joan.ferre@urv.cat [Chemometrics, Qualimetrics and Nanosensors Group, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona (Spain); Boqué, Ricard [Chemometrics, Qualimetrics and Nanosensors Group, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona (Spain); Mestres, Montserrat; Aceña, Laura; Busto, Olga [iSens Group, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona (Spain)

    2015-09-03

    The ever increasing interest of consumers for safety, authenticity and quality of food commodities has driven the attention towards the analytical techniques used for analyzing these commodities. In recent years, rapid and reliable sensor, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques have emerged that, together with multivariate and multiway chemometrics, have improved the whole control process by reducing the time of analysis and providing more informative results. In this progression of more and better information, the combination (fusion) of outputs of different instrumental techniques has emerged as a means for increasing the reliability of classification or prediction of foodstuff specifications as compared to using a single analytical technique. Although promising results have been obtained in food and beverage authentication and quality assessment, the combination of data from several techniques is not straightforward and represents an important challenge for chemometricians. This review provides a general overview of data fusion strategies that have been used in the field of food and beverage authentication and quality assessment. - Highlights: • Multivariate data fusion is used in food authentication and quality assessment. • Data fusion approaches and their applications are reviewed. • Data preprocessing, variable selection and feature extraction are considered. • Model selection and validation are also considered.

  10. Improved Temperature Sounding and Quality Control Methodology Using AIRS/AMSU Data: The AIRS Science Team Version 5 Retrieval Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susskind, Joel; Blaisdell, John M.; Iredell, Lena; Keita, Fricky

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the AIRS Science Team Version 5 retrieval algorithm in terms of its three most significant improvements over the methodology used in the AIRS Science Team Version 4 retrieval algorithm. Improved physics in Version 5 allows for use of AIRS clear column radiances in the entire 4.3 micron CO2 absorption band in the retrieval of temperature profiles T(p) during both day and night. Tropospheric sounding 15 micron CO2 observations are now used primarily in the generation of clear column radiances .R(sub i) for all channels. This new approach allows for the generation of more accurate values of .R(sub i) and T(p) under most cloud conditions. Secondly, Version 5 contains a new methodology to provide accurate case-by-case error estimates for retrieved geophysical parameters and for channel-by-channel clear column radiances. Thresholds of these error estimates are used in a new approach for Quality Control. Finally, Version 5 also contains for the first time an approach to provide AIRS soundings in partially cloudy conditions that does not require use of any microwave data. This new AIRS Only sounding methodology, referred to as AIRS Version 5 AO, was developed as a backup to AIRS Version 5 should the AMSU-A instrument fail. Results are shown comparing the relative performance of the AIRS Version 4, Version 5, and Version 5 AO for the single day, January 25, 2003. The Goddard DISC is now generating and distributing products derived using the AIRS Science Team Version 5 retrieval algorithm. This paper also described the Quality Control flags contained in the DISC AIRS/AMSU retrieval products and their intended use for scientific research purposes.

  11. Using Indigenist and Indigenous methodologies to connect to deeper understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kite, Elaine; Davy, Carol

    2015-12-01

    The lack of a common description makes measuring the concept of quality of life (QoL) a challenge. Whether QoL incorporates broader social features or is attributed to health conditions, the diverse range of descriptions applied by various disciplines has resulted in a concept that is multidimensional and vague. The variety of theoretical conceptualisations of QoL confounds and confuses even the most astute. Measuring QoL in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations is even more challenging. Instruments commonly developed and used to measure QoL are often derived from research methodologies shaped by Western cultural perspectives. Often they are simply translated for use among culturally and linguistically diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This has implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations whose perceptions of health are derived from within their specific cultures, value systems and ways of knowing and being. Interconnections and relationships between themselves, their communities, their environment and the natural and spiritual worlds are complex. The way in which their QoL is currently measured indicates that very little attention is given to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' beliefs or the ways in which those beliefs shape or give structure and meaning to their health and their lives. The use of Indigenist or Indigenous methodologies in defining what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples believe gives quality to their lives is imperative. These methodologies have the potential to increase the congruency between their perceptions of QoL and instruments to measure it.

  12. Exploration of the methodological quality and clinical usefulness of a cross-sectional sample of published guidance about exercise training and physical activity for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Bridget; Glasziou, Paul; Hoffmann, Tammy

    2017-06-13

    Clinicians are encouraged to use guidelines to assist in providing evidence-based secondary prevention to patients with coronary heart disease. However, the expanding number of publications providing guidance about exercise training may confuse cardiac rehabilitation clinicians. We therefore sought to explore the number, scope, publication characteristics, methodological quality, and clinical usefulness of published exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation guidance. We included publications recommending physical activity, exercise or cardiac rehabilitation for patients with coronary heart disease. These included systematically developed clinical practice guidelines, as well as other publications intended to support clinician decision making, such as position papers or consensus statements. Publications were obtained via electronic searches of preventive cardiology societies, guideline databases and PubMed, to November 2016. Publication characteristics were extracted, and two independent assessors evaluated quality using the 23-item Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation II (AGREE) tool. Fifty-four international publications from 1994 to 2016 were identified. Most were found on preventive cardiology association websites (n = 35; 65%) and were freely accessible (n = 50; 93%). Thirty (56%) publications contained only broad recommendations for physical activity and cardiac rehabilitation referral, while 24 (44%) contained the necessary detailed exercise training recommendations. Many were labelled as "guidelines", however publications with other titles (e.g. scientific statements) were common (n = 24; 44%). This latter group of publications contained a significantly greater proportion of detailed exercise training recommendations than clinical guidelines (p = 0.017). Wide variation in quality also existed, with 'applicability' the worst scoring AGREE II domain for clinical guidelines (mean score 53%) and 'rigour of development' rated lowest for other

  13. Modelling the effects of transglutaminase and L-ascorbic acid on substandard quality wheat flour by response surface methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šimurina Olivera D.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent decade, there have been observed extreme variations in climatic conditions which in combination with inadequate agro techniques lead to decreased quality of mercantile wheat, actally flour. The application of improvers can optimise the quality of substandard wheat flour. This paper focuses to systematic analysis of individual and interaction effects of ascorbic acid and transglutaminase as dough strengthening improvers. The effects were investigated using the Response Surface Methodology. Transglutaminase had much higher linear effect on the rheological and fermentative properties of dough from substandard flour than L-ascorbic acid. Both transglutaminase and L-ascorbic acid additions had a significant linear effect on the increase of bread specific volume. Effects of transglutaminase and ascorbic acid are dependent on the applied concentrations and it is necessary to determine the optimal concentration in order to achieve the maximum quality of the dough and bread. Optimal levels of tested improvers were determined using appropriate statistical techniques which applied the desirability function. It was found that the combination of 30 mg/kg of transglutaminase and 75.8 mg/kg of L-ascorbic acid achieved positive synergistic effect on rheological and fermentative wheat dough properties, as well on textural properties and specific volume of bread made from substandard quality flour.

  14. Evaluation of chips quality by the analysis of two different harvesting methodologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pari, L.; Civitarese, V.; Del Giudice, A. [Council for Research in Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering Research Unit, Rome (Italy)

    2010-07-01

    The Council for Research in Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering Research Unit (CRA-ING) in Rome, Italy has developed an innovative short-rotation forestry (SRF) harvesting system. The system involves a 2 step operation, notably the tree felling and inter-row windrowing performed by a feller windrower equipment; and subsequent chipping performed by a harvester equipped with a pick-up device. The low moisture content of the windrowed trees at harvesting time affects their physical qualities and mechanical strength throughout the chipping operation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the moisture losses of windrowed trees, in relation to the windrow location, on field storage and weather condition. In addition, the study characterized chips quality changes during on field storage by the 2 different harvesting systems. The innovative 2-step system was compared with the traditional 1-step harvesting system.

  15. Methodology for the construction of a physical phantom for quality control of images in digital radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Tayline T.; Vieira, Jose Wilson; Oliveira, Alex Cristovao H. de; Lima, Fernando R. de Andrade

    2013-01-01

    The advancement of technology in recent years has provided the production of increasingly sophisticated devices, aiming to acquire medical images with high technical level and also facilitate the operational readiness of the equipment. In order to ensure the most accurate diagnosis with minimum dose without exposing patients to obtain data and verify the performance of a radiographic system for quality control purposes we use the so-called phantoms. Phantoms are physical or computational models used to simulate the transport of ionizing radiation, their interactions in the tissues of the human body and evaluate the deposition of energy. Besides, they are made from materials with behavior similar to human tissues when exposed to ionizing radiation - the so-called tissue-equivalent materials. This paper describes the construction of a physical phantom that allows the execution of the main acceptance tests of the quality control protocols in digital radiography

  16. Data fusion methodologies for food and beverage authentication and quality assessment - a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borràs, Eva; Ferré, Joan; Boqué, Ricard; Mestres, Montserrat; Aceña, Laura; Busto, Olga

    2015-09-03

    The ever increasing interest of consumers for safety, authenticity and quality of food commodities has driven the attention towards the analytical techniques used for analyzing these commodities. In recent years, rapid and reliable sensor, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques have emerged that, together with multivariate and multiway chemometrics, have improved the whole control process by reducing the time of analysis and providing more informative results. In this progression of more and better information, the combination (fusion) of outputs of different instrumental techniques has emerged as a means for increasing the reliability of classification or prediction of foodstuff specifications as compared to using a single analytical technique. Although promising results have been obtained in food and beverage authentication and quality assessment, the combination of data from several techniques is not straightforward and represents an important challenge for chemometricians. This review provides a general overview of data fusion strategies that have been used in the field of food and beverage authentication and quality assessment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. [Evaluation of the adjusted amino acid score by digestibility for estimating the protein quality and protein available in food and diets].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pak, N; Vera, G; Araya, H

    1985-03-01

    The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the amino acid score adjusted by digestibility to estimate protein quality and utilizable protein in foods and diets, considering net protein utilization (NPU) as a biological reference method. Ten foods of vegetable origin and ten of animal origin, as well as eight mixtures of foods of vegetable and animal origin were studied. When all the foods were considered, a positive (r = 0.83) and highly significant correlation (p less than 0.001) between NPU and the amino acid score adjusted by digestibility was found. When the foods were separated according to their origin, this correlation was positive only for the foods of vegetable origin (r = 0.93) and statistically significant (p less than 0.001). Also, only in those foods were similar values found between NPU and amino acid score adjusted by digestibility, as well as in utilizable protein estimated considering both methods. Caution is required to interpret protein quality and utilizable protein values of foods of animal origin and mixtures of foods of vegetable and animal origin when the amino acid score method adjusted by digestibility, or NPU, are utilized.

  18. Composite quality of care scores, electronic health record maturity models, and their associations; preliminary literature review results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joukes, Erik; de Keizer, Nicolette; Cornet, Ronald

    2013-01-01

    To accurately assess the association between the use of EHR systems and the quality of healthcare we need (composite) measures for quality of healthcare, and a model to measure the maturity of the EHR. This Medline-based literature study therefore focussed on three topics; (1) methods to compose a

  19. Methodological comparison of marginal structural model, time-varying Cox regression, and propensity score methods: the example of antidepressant use and the risk of hip fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, M Sanni; Groenwold, Rolf H H; Belitser, Svetlana V; Souverein, Patrick C; Martín, Elisa; Gatto, Nicolle M; Huerta, Consuelo; Gardarsdottir, Helga; Roes, Kit C B; Hoes, Arno W; de Boer, Antonius; Klungel, Olaf H

    2016-03-01

    Observational studies including time-varying treatments are prone to confounding. We compared time-varying Cox regression analysis, propensity score (PS) methods, and marginal structural models (MSMs) in a study of antidepressant [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)] use and the risk of hip fracture. A cohort of patients with a first prescription for antidepressants (SSRI or tricyclic antidepressants) was extracted from the Dutch Mondriaan and Spanish Base de datos para la Investigación Farmacoepidemiológica en Atención Primaria (BIFAP) general practice databases for the period 2001-2009. The net (total) effect of SSRI versus no SSRI on the risk of hip fracture was estimated using time-varying Cox regression, stratification and covariate adjustment using the PS, and MSM. In MSM, censoring was accounted for by inverse probability of censoring weights. The crude hazard ratio (HR) of SSRI use versus no SSRI use on hip fracture was 1.75 (95%CI: 1.12, 2.72) in Mondriaan and 2.09 (1.89, 2.32) in BIFAP. After confounding adjustment using time-varying Cox regression, stratification, and covariate adjustment using the PS, HRs increased in Mondriaan [2.59 (1.63, 4.12), 2.64 (1.63, 4.25), and 2.82 (1.63, 4.25), respectively] and decreased in BIFAP [1.56 (1.40, 1.73), 1.54 (1.39, 1.71), and 1.61 (1.45, 1.78), respectively]. MSMs with stabilized weights yielded HR 2.15 (1.30, 3.55) in Mondriaan and 1.63 (1.28, 2.07) in BIFAP when accounting for censoring and 2.13 (1.32, 3.45) in Mondriaan and 1.66 (1.30, 2.12) in BIFAP without accounting for censoring. In this empirical study, differences between the different methods to control for time-dependent confounding were small. The observed differences in treatment effect estimates between the databases are likely attributable to different confounding information in the datasets, illustrating that adequate information on (time-varying) confounding is crucial to prevent bias. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. Palliative healthcare: cost reduction and quality enhancement using end-of-life survey methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falls, Christopher Edward

    2008-01-01

    American medical institutions throughout the 20th century prescribed high customer satisfaction, but when it came to death, largely ignored it. An accelerated accumulation of esoteric medical information and the application of this knowledge to affect new cures and longer lives instilled an unquestioning reverence for the medical community among the patient population. Diminishing marginal gains in life expectancy, escalating costs related to life sustaining technologies, and a psychographic shift in the dominant consumer base have challenged this traditional reverence. Armed with unprecedented access to medical information, a more knowledgeable and assertive patient population has emerged in the 21st century to institute its own standards of what constitutes quality health care. In terms of end of life care, this has meant recognition that the emotional needs of the dying have been largely underserved by the current American medical model. Patients and their families are no longer willing to accept the traditional medical perspective of death as failure and have numerous international palliative care models that serve as benchmarks of success when it comes to quality of dying. When cure is a possibility, Americans will pursue it at all costs, but when it is not a possibility, they want honest communication and the opportunity to say good-bye to their loved ones. In the context of these emergent needs, life review is offered as a solution. The value proposition targets not only dying patients and their families, but also society as a whole.

  1. Values for digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) for some dairy and plant proteins may better describe protein quality than values calculated using the concept for protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores (PDCAAS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathai, John K; Liu, Yanhong; Stein, Hans H

    2017-02-01

    An experiment was conducted to compare values for digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) for four animal proteins and four plant proteins with values calculated as recommended for protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores (PDCAAS), but determined in pigs instead of in rats. Values for standardised total tract digestibility (STTD) of crude protein (CP) and standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) were calculated for whey protein isolate (WPI), whey protein concentrate (WPC), milk protein concentrate (MPC), skimmed milk powder (SMP), pea protein concentrate (PPC), soya protein isolate (SPI), soya flour and whole-grain wheat. The PDCAAS-like values were calculated using the STTD of CP to estimate AA digestibility and values for DIAAS were calculated from values for SID of AA. Results indicated that values for SID of most indispensable AA in WPI, WPC and MPC were greater (P<0·05) than for SMP, PPC, SPI, soya flour and wheat. With the exception of arginine and tryptophan, the SID of all indispensable AA in SPI was greater (P<0·05) than in soya flour, and with the exception of threonine, the SID of all indispensable AA in wheat was less (P<0·05) than in all other ingredients. If the same scoring pattern for children between 6 and 36 months was used to calculate PDCAAS-like values and DIAAS, PDCAAS-like values were greater (P<0·05) than DIAAS values for SMP, PPC, SPI, soya flour and wheat indicating that PDCAAS-like values estimated in pigs may overestimate the quality of these proteins.

  2. Verification of dosimetric methodology for auditing radiotherapy quality under non-reference condition in Hubei province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma Xinxing; Luo Suming; He Zhijian; Zhou Wenshan

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To verify the reliability of TLD-based quality audit for radiotherapy dosimetry of medical electron accelerator in non-reference condition by monitoring the dose variations from electron beams with different field sizes and 45° wedge and the dose variations from photon beams with different field sizes and source-skin distance. Methods: Both TLDs and finger ionization chambers were placed at a depth of 10 cm in water to measure the absorbed dose from photon beams, and also placed at the depth of maximum dose from electron beams under non-reference condition. TLDs were then mailed to National Institute for Radiological Protection, China CDC for further measurement. Results: Among the 70 measuring points for photon beams, 58 points showed the results with a relative error less than ±7.0% (IAEA's acceptable deviation: ±7.0%) between TLDs and finger ionization chambers measurements, and the percentage of qualified point numbers was 82.8%. After corrected by Ps value, 62 points were qualified and the percentage was up to 88.6%. All of the measuring points for electron beams, with the total number of 24, presented a relative error within ±5.0% (IAEA's acceptable deviation: ±5.0%) between TLDs and finger ioization cylindrical chambers measurements. Conclusions: TLD-based quality audit is convenient for determining radiotherapy dosimetric parameters of electron beams in non-reference condition and can improve the accuracy of the measuring parameters in connection with finger chambers. For electron beams of 5 MeV < E_0 < 10 MeV, the absorbed dose parameters measured by finger ionization chambers, combined with TLD audit, can help obtain the precise and reliable results. (authors)

  3. Do medical student stress, health, or quality of life foretell step 1 scores? A comparison of students in traditional and revised preclinical curricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Phebe; Jeon-Slaughter, Haekyung; Sener, Ugur; Arvidson, Megan; Khalafian, Andrey

    2015-01-01

    We explored the theory that measures of medical students' well-being and stress from different types of preclinical curricula are linked with performance on standardized assessment. Self-reported stress and quality of life among sophomore medical students having different types of preclinical curricula will vary in their relationships to USMLE Step 1 scores. Voluntary surveys in 2010 and 2011 compared self-reported stress, physical and mental health, and quality of life with Step 1 scores for beginning sophomore students in the final year of a traditional, discipline-based curriculum and the 1st year of a revised, systems-based curriculum with changed grading system. Wilcoxon rank sum tests and Spearman rank correlations were used to analyze data, significant at p students reported worse physical health, subjective feelings, leisure activities, social relationships and morale, and more depressive symptoms and life stress than traditional curriculum students. However, among curriculum-related stressors, few differences emerged; revised curriculum sophomores reported less stress working with real and standardized patients than traditional students. There were no class differences in respondents' Step 1 scores. Among emotional and physical health measures, only feelings of morale correlated negatively with Step 1 performance. Revised curriculum students' Step 1 scores correlated negatively with stress from difficulty of coursework. Although revised curriculum students reported worse quality of life, general stress, and health and less stress from patient interactions than traditional students, few measures were associated with performance differences on Step 1. Moreover, curriculum type did not appear to either hinder or help students' Step 1 performance. To identify and help students at risk for academic problems, future assessments of correlates of Step 1 performance should be repeated after the new curriculum is well established, relating them also to performance

  4. The prevalence of poor sleep quality and its association with depression and anxiety scores in patients admitted for cardiovascular disease: A cross-sectional designed study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Risa; Kohno, Takashi; Kohsaka, Shun; Fukuoka, Ryoma; Maekawa, Yuichiro; Sano, Motoaki; Takatsuki, Seiji; Fukuda, Keiichi

    2017-02-01

    Poor sleep quality contributes to the development of various cardiovascular conditions. However, its real-world prevalence among cardiovascular inpatients and association with psychological disturbance is unknown. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of poor sleep quality and its association with depression and anxiety in cardiovascular patients, and explored whether sex and cardiovascular comorbidities modified these associations. A total of 1071 patients hospitalized for a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases at a single university hospital were assessed (790 men, mean age 64±14years). We assessed sleep quality during their index hospitalization period using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); poor sleep quality was defined as PSQI>5. Depression and anxiety were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The median PSQI score was 5.0 [3.0-7.0], and 461 inpatients (43%) had poor sleep quality. Multivariate regression analysis adjusting for patient background, medical risk factors, and laboratory data revealed that poor sleep quality was associated with higher HADS subscores for depression (HADS-depression; odds ratio [OR]: 1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.15) and anxiety (HADS-anxiety; OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.11-1.24). Poor sleep quality was associated with markedly higher HADS-depression among women than men (p value for interaction: 0.008). The association between poor sleep quality and HADS-anxiety was more significant among patients without coronary artery diseases (p value for interaction: 0.017). Poor sleep quality was highly prevalent and associated with depression and anxiety in cardiovascular patients. These associations may be modified by sex and the presence of coronary artery diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Artificial intelligence methodologies applied to quality control of the positioning services offered by the Red Andaluza de Posicionamiento (RAP network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio José Gil

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available On April 26, 2012, Elena Giménez de Ory defend-ed her Ph.D. thesis at University of Jaén, entitled: “Robust methodologies applied to quality control of the positioning services offered by the Red Andaluza de Posicionamiento (RAP network”. Elena Giménez de Ory defended her dissertation in a publicly open presentation held in the Higher Polytechnic School at the University of Jaén, and was able to comment on every question raised by her thesis committee and the audience. The thesis was supervised by her advisor, Prof. Antonio J. Gil Cruz, and the rest of his thesis committee, Prof. Manuel Sánchez de la Orden, Dr. Antonio Miguel Ruiz Armenteros and Dr. Gracia Rodríguez Caderot. The thesis has been read and approved by his thesis committee, receiving the highest rating. All of them were present at the presentation.

  6. Evaluation of the environmental epidemiologic data and methodology for the air quality standard in Beijing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xu; Jiang, Yanfeng; Yin, Ling; Liu, Bo; Du, Pengfei; Hassan, Mujtaba; Wang, Shigong; Li, Tanshi

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate the relationship between exposure to air pollutants and respiratory emergency room visits, a generalized additive model (GAM) was used to analyze the exposure-effect relationship between air pollutants and respiratory emergency room visits. The results showed that NO2, SO2, and PM10 have positive relationships with respiratory disease. Concentration increases of 10 μg/m3 in NO2, SO2, and PM10 corresponded to 3.90% (95%CI 3.56-4.25), 0.81% (95%CI -0.09-1.72), and 0.64% (95%CI 0.55-0.74) increases in respiratory emergency room visits. In addition, there is a strong synergic effect of PM10 and NO2 on respiratory diseases. The threshold values of the national standard grade II limits used in Beijing should be adjusted. An appropriate standard could effectively promote a significant decline in respiratory room visits and would eventually be beneficial to air quality management in residential areas.

  7. A Proposed Methodology to Assess the Quality of Public Use Management in Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Santos, Maria; Benayas, Javier

    2012-07-01

    In recent years, the goal of nature preservation has faced, almost worldwide, an increase in the number of visitors who are interested in experiencing protected areas resources, landscapes and stories. Spain is a good example of this process. The rapidly increasing numbers of visitors have prompted administrations and managers to offer and develop a broad network of facilities and programs in order to provide these visitors with information, knowledge and recreation. But, are we doing it the best way? This research focuses on developing and applying a new instrument for evaluating the quality of visitor management in parks. Different areas are analyzed with this instrument (78 semi-quantitative indicators): planning and management capacity (planning, funding, human resources), monitoring, reception, information, interpretation, environmental education, training, participation and volunteer's programs. Thus, we attempt to gain a general impression of the development of the existing management model, detecting strengths and weaknesses. Although Spain's National Parks constituted the specific context within which to develop the evaluation instrument, the design thereof is intended to provide a valid, robust and flexible method for application to any system, network or set of protected areas in other countries. This paper presents the instrument developed, some results obtained following its application to Spanish National parks, along with a discussion on the limits and validity thereof.

  8. Methodology for Evaluating the Quality of Ecosystem Maps: A Case Study in the Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dolors Armenteras

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Uncertainty in thematic maps has been tested mainly in maps with discrete or fuzzy classifications based on spectral data. However, many ecosystem maps in tropical countries consist of discrete polygons containing information on various ecosystem properties such as vegetation cover, soil, climate, geomorphology and biodiversity. The combination of these properties into one class leads to error. We propose a probability-based sampling design with two domains, multiple stages, and stratification with selection of primary sampling units (PSUs proportional to the richness of strata present. Validation is undertaken through field visits and fine resolution remote sensing data. A pilot site in the center of the Colombian Andes was chosen to validate a government official ecosystem map. Twenty primary sampling units (PSUs of 10 × 15 km were selected, and the final numbers of final sampling units (FSUs were 76 for the terrestrial domain and 46 for the aquatic domain. Our results showed a confidence level of 95%, with the accuracy in the terrestrial domain varying between 51.8% and 64.3% and in the aquatic domain varying between 75% and 92%. Governments need to account for uncertainty since they rely on the quality of these maps to make decisions and guide policies.

  9. Low quality of life scores in school children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder related to anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Zambrano-Sánchez,Elizabeth; Martínez-Cortés,José A.; Río-Carlos,Yolanda del; Dehesa-Moreno,Minerva; Poblano,Adrián

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an alteration that begins early in infancy and whose cardinal symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There are few studies for specific tests to measure Quality of Life (QoL) in children with ADHD. METHODS: We evaluated QoL of 120 children from 7-12 years of age with ADHD and of a group of 98 healthy control children. To measure QoL, we utilized the Questionnaire of Quality of Life for Children in Pictures (AutoQu...

  10. Parent-Child Book-Reading Styles, Emotional Quality, and Changes in Early Head Start Children's Cognitive Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, Keely D.; Edwards, Carolyn Pope

    2017-01-01

    Research Findings: The objective of this study was to understand how instructional book-reading style and emotional quality of reading interact and relate to cognitive skills in a sample of at-risk infants and toddlers. Participants were 81 parents and their children participating in Early Head Start programs in the rural Midwest. Correlation and…

  11. Comparison of tools for assessing the methodological quality of primary and secondary studies in health technology assessment reports in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter, Ulla

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Health care policy background: Findings from scientific studies form the basis for evidence-based health policy decisions. Scientific background: Quality assessments to evaluate the credibility of study results are an essential part of health technology assessment reports and systematic reviews. Quality assessment tools (QAT for assessing the study quality examine to what extent study results are systematically distorted by confounding or bias (internal validity. The tools can be divided into checklists, scales and component ratings. Research questions: What QAT are available to assess the quality of interventional studies or studies in the field of health economics, how do they differ from each other and what conclusions can be drawn from these results for quality assessments? Methods: A systematic search of relevant databases from 1988 onwards is done, supplemented by screening of the references, of the HTA reports of the German Agency for Health Technology Assessment (DAHTA and an internet search. The selection of relevant literature, the data extraction and the quality assessment are carried out by two independent reviewers. The substantive elements of the QAT are extracted using a modified criteria list consisting of items and domains specific to randomized trials, observational studies, diagnostic studies, systematic reviews and health economic studies. Based on the number of covered items and domains, more and less comprehensive QAT are distinguished. In order to exchange experiences regarding problems in the practical application of tools, a workshop is hosted. Results: A total of eight systematic methodological reviews is identified as well as 147 QAT: 15 for systematic reviews, 80 for randomized trials, 30 for observational studies, 17 for diagnostic studies and 22 for health economic studies. The tools vary considerably with regard to the content, the performance and quality of operationalisation. Some tools do not only include the

  12. Comparison of tools for assessing the methodological quality of primary and secondary studies in health technology assessment reports in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreier, Maren; Borutta, Birgit; Stahmeyer, Jona; Krauth, Christian; Walter, Ulla

    2010-06-14

    HEALTH CARE POLICY BACKGROUND: Findings from scientific studies form the basis for evidence-based health policy decisions. Quality assessments to evaluate the credibility of study results are an essential part of health technology assessment reports and systematic reviews. Quality assessment tools (QAT) for assessing the study quality examine to what extent study results are systematically distorted by confounding or bias (internal validity). The tools can be divided into checklists, scales and component ratings. What QAT are available to assess the quality of interventional studies or studies in the field of health economics, how do they differ from each other and what conclusions can be drawn from these results for quality assessments? A systematic search of relevant databases from 1988 onwards is done, supplemented by screening of the references, of the HTA reports of the German Agency for Health Technology Assessment (DAHTA) and an internet search. The selection of relevant literature, the data extraction and the quality assessment are carried out by two independent reviewers. The substantive elements of the QAT are extracted using a modified criteria list consisting of items and domains specific to randomized trials, observational studies, diagnostic studies, systematic reviews and health economic studies. Based on the number of covered items and domains, more and less comprehensive QAT are distinguished. In order to exchange experiences regarding problems in the practical application of tools, a workshop is hosted. A total of eight systematic methodological reviews is identified as well as 147 QAT: 15 for systematic reviews, 80 for randomized trials, 30 for observational studies, 17 for diagnostic studies and 22 for health economic studies. The tools vary considerably with regard to the content, the performance and quality of operationalisation. Some tools do not only include the items of internal validity but also the items of quality of reporting and

  13. [Methodological quality evaluation of randomized controlled trials for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jun; Liao, Xing; Zhao, Hui; Li, Zhi-Geng; Wang, Nan-Yue; Wang, Li-Min

    2016-11-01

    To evaluate the methodological quality of the randomized controlled trials(RCTs) for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health, in order to provide a scientific basis for the improvement of clinical trials and systematic review. Such databases as CNKI, CBM, VIP, Wanfang, EMbase, Medline, Clinical Trials, Web of Science and Cochrane Library were searched for RCTS for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health between the time of establishment and February 29, 2016. Cochrane Handbook 5.1 was used to screen literatures and extract data, and CONSORT statement and CONSORT for traditional Chinese medicine statement were adopted as the basis for quality evaluation. Among the 72 RCTs included in this study, 67 (93.05%) trials described the inter-group baseline data comparability, 39(54.17%) trials described the unified diagnostic criteria, 28(38.89%) trials described the unified standards of efficacy, 4 (5.55%) trials mentioned the multi-center study, 19(26.38%) trials disclosed the random distribution method, 6(8.33%) trials used the random distribution concealment, 15(20.83%) trials adopted the method of blindness, 3(4.17%) study reported the sample size estimation in details, 5 (6.94%) trials showed a sample size of more than two hundred, 19(26.38%) trials reported the number of withdrawal, defluxion cases and those lost to follow-up, but only 2 trials adopted the ITT analysis,10(13.89%) trials reported the follow-up results, none of the trial reported the test registration and the test protocol, 48(66.7%) trials reported all of the indicators of expected outcomes, 26(36.11%) trials reported the adverse reactions and adverse events, and 4(5.56%) trials reported patient compliance. The overall quality of these randomized controlled trials for traditional Chinese medicines for treatment of sub-health is low, with methodological defects in different degrees. Therefore, it is still necessary to emphasize the correct application of principles

  14. Analysis of High Quality Agar wood Oil Chemical Compounds By Means Of SPME/ GC-MS and Z-Score Technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nurlaila Ismail; Mohd Ali Nor Azah; Mailina Jamil; Saiful Nizam Tajuddin; Mohd Nasir Taib

    2013-01-01

    Currently, the grading of the agar wood oil to the high and low quality is done using manually such as human trained grader. It was performed based on the agar wood oil physical properties such as human experience and perception and the oil colour, odor and long lasting aroma. Several researchers found that chemical profiles of the oil should be utilized to overcome the problem facing by manual techniques for example human nose cannot tolerate with the many oils at the same time, so that accurate result can be obtained in grading the agar wood oil. The analysis involved of SPME/ GC-MS and Z-score techniques have been proposed in this study to analyze the chemical compounds especially from the high quality samples of agar wood oil (Aquilariamalaccensis) from Malaysia. Two SPME fibers were used such as divinylbenzene-carbogen-polydimethylsiloxane (DVB-CAR-PDMS) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in extracting the oils compound under three different sampling temperature conditions such as 40, 60 and 80 degree Celsius. The chemical compounds extracted by SPME/ GC-MS were analyzed. The chemical compounds as identified by Z-score as significant compounds were discussed before the conclusion is made. It was found that 10-epi-γ-eudesmol, aromadendrene, β-agar ofuran, α-agar ofuran and γ-eudesmol were highlighted as significant for high quality agar wood oil and can be used as a marker compounds in classifying the agar wood oil. (author)

  15. Greater Independence in Activities of Daily Living is Associated with Higher Health-Related Quality of Life Scores in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charice S. Chan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Health-related quality of life (HRQL for nursing home residents is important, however, the concept of quality of life is broad, encompasses many domains and is difficult to assess in people with dementia. Basic activities of daily living (ADL are measured routinely in nursing homes using the Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 (RAI-MDS and Functional Independence Measure (FIM instrument. We examined the relationship between HRQL and ADL to assess the future possibility of ADL dependency level serving as a surrogate measure of HRQL in residents with dementia. To assess ADL, measures derived from the RAI-MDS and FIM data were gathered for 111 residents at the beginning of our study and at 6-month follow-up. Higher scores for independence in ADL were correlated with higher scores for a disease-specific HRQL measure, the Quality of Life—Alzheimer’s Disease Scale. Preliminary evidence suggests that FIM-assessed ADL is associated with HRQL for these residents. The associations of the dressing and toileting items with HRQL were particularly strong. This finding suggests the importance of ADL function in HRQL. The RAI-MDS ADL scales should be used with caution to evaluate HRQL.

  16. Application of Quaternion in improving the quality of global sequence alignment scores for an ambiguous sequence target in Streptococcus pneumoniae DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, D.; Bustamam, A.; Novianti, T.; Ardaneswari, G.

    2017-07-01

    DNA sequence can be defined as a succession of letters, representing the order of nucleotides within DNA, using a permutation of four DNA base codes including adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The precise code of the sequences is determined using DNA sequencing methods and technologies, which have been developed since the 1970s and currently become highly developed, advanced and highly throughput sequencing technologies. So far, DNA sequencing has greatly accelerated biological and medical research and discovery. However, in some cases DNA sequencing could produce any ambiguous and not clear enough sequencing results that make them quite difficult to be determined whether these codes are A, T, G, or C. To solve these problems, in this study we can introduce other representation of DNA codes namely Quaternion Q = (PA, PT, PG, PC), where PA, PT, PG, PC are the probability of A, T, G, C bases that could appear in Q and PA + PT + PG + PC = 1. Furthermore, using Quaternion representations we are able to construct the improved scoring matrix for global sequence alignment processes, by applying a dot product method. Moreover, this scoring matrix produces better and higher quality of the match and mismatch score between two DNA base codes. In implementation, we applied the Needleman-Wunsch global sequence alignment algorithm using Octave, to analyze our target sequence which contains some ambiguous sequence data. The subject sequences are the DNA sequences of Streptococcus pneumoniae families obtained from the Genebank, meanwhile the target DNA sequence are received from our collaborator database. As the results we found the Quaternion representations improve the quality of the sequence alignment score and we can conclude that DNA sequence target has maximum similarity with Streptococcus pneumoniae.

  17. Score distribution of the scoliosis research society health-related quality of life in different subgroups of adolescent subjects unaffected by scoliosis in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Weifei; Du, Yuanli; Liang, Jie; Chen, Ying; Tan, Xiaoyi; Xiang, Xuanping; Wang, Wanhong; Ru, Neng

    2014-02-01

    A comparative study. The aims of this study were to: (1) evaluate Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 questionnaire performance in normal adolescents without scoliosis to establish a normative baseline useful for evaluating the discriminate validity of the SRS-22 in primary adolescent scoliosis; and (2) investigate impact of age and sex on SRS-22 in an adolescent population unaffected by scoliosis. The SRS-22 questionnaire is widely used to measure health-related quality of life of patients with spinal disease including scoliosis and lumbar spondylolisthesis. However, normal data, which are very important, when comparing patients and nonpatients, are few, little, and there are few studies about factors that may affect SRS questionnaire performance. The adolescent population was from 14 schools located in 7 provinces. A total of 2008 adolescents (961 females, 1026 males, 21 unknown; mean age, 14.3 yr; range, 11-20) completed the simplified Chinese version of SRS-22 questionnaire and demographic questions. Surveys were stratified into 8 age-sex groups for analysis: male/female; 12 to 13.4, 13.5 to 14.9, 15 to 15.9, and more than 16 years of age. Post hoc testing and the Tukey least significant difference were used to compare differences between any 2 of the 4 age groups. Self-image scores in males were higher than those in females (P < 0.01). Pain domain scores were significantly higher in males than those in females in the 13.5- to 14.9-year-old subgroup, whereas other subgroups showed no obvious differences. The function domain scores in males who were aged 15 to 15.9 years and those older than 16 years were significantly higher than those in females (P < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in mental health domain scores among age-sex subgroups, with the exception of the 13.5- to 14.9-year-old group. This is the first study to characterize the sex and age influence on the SRS-22 scores in normal population. Age and sex have an important

  18. The use of the SF-36 questionnaire in adult survivors of childhood cancer: evaluation of data quality, score reliability, and scaling assumptions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winter David L

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The SF-36 has been used in a number of previous studies that have investigated the health status of childhood cancer survivors, but it never has been evaluated regarding data quality, scaling assumptions, and reliability in this population. As health status among childhood cancer survivors is being increasingly investigated, it is important that the measurement instruments are reliable, validated and appropriate for use in this population. The aim of this paper was to determine whether the SF-36 questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument in assessing self-perceived health status of adult survivors of childhood cancer. Methods We examined the SF-36 to see how it performed with respect to (1 data completeness, (2 distribution of the scale scores, (3 item-internal consistency, (4 item-discriminant validity, (5 internal consistency, and (6 scaling assumptions. For this investigation we used SF-36 data from a population-based study of 10,189 adult survivors of childhood cancer. Results Overall, missing values ranged per item from 0.5 to 2.9 percent. Ceiling effects were found to be highest in the role limitation-physical (76.7% and role limitation-emotional (76.5% scales. All correlations between items and their hypothesised scales exceeded the suggested standard of 0.40 for satisfactory item-consistency. Across all scales, the Cronbach's alpha coefficient of reliability was found to be higher than the suggested value of 0.70. Consistent across all cancer groups, the physical health related scale scores correlated strongly with the Physical Component Summary (PCS scale scores and weakly with the Mental Component Summary (MCS scale scores. Also, the mental health and role limitation-emotional scales correlated strongly with the MCS scale score and weakly with the PCS scale score. Moderate to strong correlations with both summary scores were found for the general health perception, energy/vitality, and social functioning

  19. Development of an indoor air quality checklist for risk assessment of indoor air pollutants by semiquantitative score in nonindustrial workplaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syazwan AI

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available AI Syazwan1, B Mohd Rafee1, Juahir Hafizan2, AZF Azman1, AM Nizar3, Z Izwyn4, AA Muhaimin5, MA Syafiq Yunos6, AR Anita1, J Muhamad Hanafiah1, MS Shaharuddin1, A Mohd Ibthisham7, Mohd Hasmadi Ismail8, MN Mohamad Azhar1, HS Azizan1, I Zulfadhli9, J Othman101Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; 2Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Pharmacology Unit, Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; 4Department of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Science and Biomedical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia; 5Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; 6Plant Assessment Technology (PAT, Industrial Technology Division (BTI, Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia, Bangi, Kajang, Malaysia; 7Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia; 8Department of Forest Production, Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; 9Faculty of Built Environment and Architect, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia; 10Department of Counsellor Education and Counselling Psychology (DCECP, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, MalaysiaBackground: To meet the current diversified health needs in workplaces, especially in nonindustrial workplaces in developing countries, an indoor air quality (IAQ component of a participatory occupational safety and health survey should be included.Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate and suggest a multidisciplinary, integrated IAQ checklist for evaluating the health risk of building occupants. This IAQ checklist proposed to support

  20. Effects of Diquafosol Ophthalmic Solution on Quality of Life in Dry Eye Assessed Using the Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score Questionnaire: Effectiveness in Patients While Reading and Using Visual Display Terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utsunomiya, Tsugiaki; Kawahara, Atsushi; Hanada, Kazuomi; Yoshida, Akitoshi

    2017-08-01

    Diquafosol ophthalmic solution improves objective findings in the ocular surface and subjective symptoms in patients with dry eye. The Dry Eye-Related Quality-of-Life Score (DEQS) questionnaire was developed to assess dry eye symptoms and their effects on quality of life. However, because little research using the DEQS has been reported, we evaluated the effects of diquafosol ophthalmic solution on ocular surface findings and quality of life using the DEQS in patients with dry eye. Sixty-three patients with dry eye were assigned to the control group (artificial tears) or diquafosol group. Both groups instilled 1 drop of the solution in both eyes 6 times daily and were evaluated after 2 weeks; the diquafosol group also was instructed to be examined at 1 and 3 months. We evaluated the subjective symptoms using the DEQS, fluorescein staining score, tear film breakup time (BUT), Schirmer testing, and lower tear meniscus height with anterior-segment optical coherence tomography. In the diquafosol group, the fluorescein staining score, BUT, tear meniscus height, and DEQS scores improved significantly compared with before treatment in contrast to the control group. Furthermore, in the diquafosol group, the staining score and BUT improved significantly compared with the control group. Analysis of each DEQS item indicated that diquafosol ophthalmic solution relieved foreign body sensation and problems when reading and using visual display terminals compared with the control group. Diquafosol ophthalmic solution was effective in patients with dry eye, especially those with foreign body sensation and problems when reading and using visual display terminals.

  1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Obesity Risk in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Analysis on How Methodological Quality May Influence Conclusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher Della Torre, Sophie; Keller, Amélie; Laure Depeyre, Jocelyne; Kruseman, Maaike

    2016-04-01

    In the context of a worldwide high prevalence of childhood obesity, the role of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption as a cause of excess weight gain remains controversial. Conflicting results may be due to methodological issues in original studies and in reviews. The aim of this review was to systematically analyze the methodology of studies investigating the influence of SSB consumption on risk of obesity and obesity among children and adolescents, and the studies' ability to answer this research question. A systematic review of cohort and experimental studies published until December 2013 in peer-reviewed journals was performed on Medline, CINAHL, Web of Knowledge, and ClinicalTrials.gov. Studies investigating the influence of SSB consumption on risk of obesity and obesity among children and adolescents were included, and methodological quality to answer this question was assessed independently by two investigators using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Criteria Checklist. Among the 32 identified studies, nine had positive quality ratings and 23 studies had at least one major methodological issue. Main methodological issues included SSB definition and inadequate measurement of exposure. Studies with positive quality ratings found an association between SSB consumption and risk of obesity or obesity (n=5) (ie, when SSB consumption increased so did obesity) or mixed results (n=4). Studies with a neutral quality rating found a positive association (n=7), mixed results (n=9), or no association (n=7). The present review shows that the majority of studies with strong methodology indicated a positive association between SSB consumption and risk of obesity or obesity, especially among overweight children. In addition, study findings highlight the need for the careful and precise measurement of the consumption of SSBs and of important confounders. Copyright © 2016 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Electronic symptom reporting between patient and provider for improved health care service quality: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. part 2: methodological quality and effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Monika Alise; Berntsen, Gro K Rosvold; Schuster, Tibor; Henriksen, Eva; Horsch, Alexander

    2012-10-03

    We conducted in two parts a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on electronic symptom reporting between patients and providers to improve health care service quality. Part 1 reviewed the typology of patient groups, health service innovations, and research targets. Four innovation categories were identified: consultation support, monitoring with clinician support, self-management with clinician support, and therapy. To assess the methodological quality of the RCTs, and summarize effects and benefits from the methodologically best studies. We searched Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and IEEE Xplore for original studies presented in English-language articles between 1990 and November 2011. Risk of bias and feasibility were judged according to the Cochrane recommendation, and theoretical evidence and preclinical testing were evaluated according to the Framework for Design and Evaluation of Complex Interventions to Improve Health. Three authors assessed the risk of bias and two authors extracted the effect data independently. Disagreement regarding bias assessment, extraction, and interpretation of results were resolved by consensus discussions. Of 642 records identified, we included 32 articles representing 29 studies. No articles fulfilled all quality requirements. All interventions were feasible to implement in a real-life setting, and theoretical evidence was provided for almost all studies. However, preclinical testing was reported in only a third of the articles. We judged three-quarters of the articles to have low risk for random sequence allocation and approximately half of the articles to have low risk for the following biases: allocation concealment, incomplete outcome data, and selective reporting. Slightly more than one fifth of the articles were judged as low risk for blinding of outcome assessment. Only 1 article had low risk of bias for blinding of participants and personnel. We excluded 12

  3. Among 4 Diet Quality Indexes, Only the Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score Is Associated with Better Colorectal Cancer Survival and Only in African American Women in the Multiethnic Cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Simone; Harmon, Brook E; Ollberding, Nicholas J; Wilkens, Lynne R; Monroe, Kristine R; Kolonel, Laurence N; Le Marchand, Loic; Boushey, Carol J; Maskarinec, Gertraud

    2016-09-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, with a 5-y survival rate of ∼65%. Therefore, the identification of modifiable health factors to improve CRC survival is crucial. We investigated the association of 4 prediagnostic a priori diet quality indexes with CRC-specific and all-cause mortality in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC). The MEC included >215,000 African-American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese-American, Latino, and white adults living in Hawaii and California who completed a validated quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1993-1996. CRC cases and deaths were identified through linkages to cancer registries and to state and national vital registries. Sex-specific HRs and 95% CIs were estimated for the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010, the Alternative HEI (AHEI) 2010, the alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED) score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index with CRC-specific and overall mortality as the primary outcomes. Ethnicity-specific analyses were the secondary outcomes. Among 4204 MEC participants diagnosed with invasive CRC through 2010, 1976 all-cause and 1095 CRC-specific deaths were identified. A higher aMED score was associated with lower CRC-specific mortality in women [HR continuous pattern score divided by its respective SD (HR1SD): 0.86; 95% CI: 0.77, 0.96] but not in men (HR1SD: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.11). A higher aMED score was also associated with lower all-cause mortality in women (HR1SD: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.96) but not in men (HR1SD: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.93, 1.07). The HEI-2010, AHEI-2010, and DASH index were not significantly associated with CRC-specific or with all-cause mortality. The inverse relation for the aMED score was limited to African Americans and to colon (compared with rectal) cancer. The aMED score was related to lower mortality only in African-American women (1 of 5 ethnic groups studied). The results should be interpreted with caution due to the small

  4. Development and Validation of a Preprocedural Risk Score to Predict Access Site Complications After Peripheral Vascular Interventions Based on the Vascular Quality Initiative Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Ortiz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Access site complications following peripheral vascular intervention (PVI are associated with prolonged hospitalization and increased mortality. Prediction of access site complication risk may optimize PVI care; however, there is no tool designed for this. We aimed to create a clinical scoring tool to stratify patients according to their risk of developing access site complications after PVI. Methods: The Society for Vascular Surgery’s Vascular Quality Initiative database yielded 27,997 patients who had undergone PVI at 131 North American centers. Clinically and statistically significant preprocedural risk factors associated with in-hospital, post-PVI access site complications were included in a multivariate logistic regression model, with access site complications as the outcome variable. A predictive model was developed with a random sample of 19,683 (70% PVI procedures and validated in 8,314 (30%. Results: Access site complications occurred in 939 (3.4% patients. The risk tool predictors are female gender, age > 70 years, white race, bedridden ambulatory status, insulin-treated diabetes mellitus, prior minor amputation, procedural indication of claudication, and nonfemoral arterial access site (model c-statistic = 0.638. Of these predictors, insulin-treated diabetes mellitus and prior minor amputation were protective of access site complications. The discriminatory power of the risk model was confirmed by the validation dataset (c-statistic = 0.6139. Higher risk scores correlated with increased frequency of access site complications: 1.9% for low risk, 3.4% for moderate risk and 5.1% for high risk. Conclusions: The proposed clinical risk score based on eight preprocedural characteristics is a tool to stratify patients at risk for post-PVI access site complications. The risk score may assist physicians in identifying patients at risk for access site complications and selection of patients who may benefit from bleeding avoidance

  5. Family Satisfaction With Nursing Home Care: The Role of Facility Characteristics and Resident Quality-of-Life Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shippee, Tetyana P.; Henning-Smith, Carrie; Gaugler, Joseph E.; Held, Robert; Kane, Robert L.

    2018-01-01

    This article explores the factor structure of a new family satisfaction with nursing home care instrument and determines the relationship of resident quality of life (QOL) and facility characteristics with family satisfaction. Data sources include (1) family satisfaction interviews (n = 16,790 family members), (2) multidimensional survey of resident QOL (n = 13,433 residents), and (3) facility characteristics (n = 376 facilities). We used factor analysis to identify domains of family satisfaction and multivariate analyses to identify the role of facility-level characteristics and resident QOL on facility-mean values of family satisfaction. Four distinct domains were identified for family satisfaction: “care,” “staff,” “environment,” and “food.” Chain affiliation, higher resident acuity, more deficiencies, and large size were all associated with less family satisfaction, and resident QOL was a significant (albeit weak) predictor of family satisfaction. Results suggest that family member satisfaction is distinct from resident QOL but is associated with resident QOL and facility characteristics. PMID:26534835

  6. Orthognathic surgery improves quality of life and depression, but not anxiety, and patients with higher preoperative depression scores improve less.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunault, P; Battini, J; Potard, C; Jonas, C; Zagala-Bouquillon, B; Chabut, A; Mercier, J-M; Bedhet, N; Réveillère, C; Goga, D; Courtois, R

    2016-01-01

    This study assessed quality of life (QoL), depression, and anxiety before and after orthognathic surgery and identified risk factors for poorer postoperative outcome. This multicentre prospective study included 140 patients from five French medical centres. We assessed patients before surgery (T1), 3 months after surgery (T2), and 12 months after surgery (T3). We assessed the severity of the orofacial deformity, physical, psychological, social, and environmental QoL (WHOQOL-BREF), and depression and anxiety (GHQ-28). Risk factors for poorer outcome were identified using linear mixed models. Between baseline and 12 months, there was significant improvement in psychological and social QoL and in depression (although below the norms reported in the general population), but not in anxiety. Physical QoL was poorer in patients who were younger, who had a mild orofacial deformity, and who were depressed. Psychological QoL was poorer in younger patients and in depressed patients. Social QoL was poorer in patients who were single, who had a mild orofacial deformity, and who were depressed. Although orthognathic surgery provides a moderate improvement in psychological and social QoL, the systematic screening and treatment of depression could further improve QoL after surgery because it is a major predictor of poor QoL in this population. Copyright © 2015 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Optimization of edible coating formulations for improving postharvest quality and shelf life of pear fruit using response surface methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandane, A S; Dave, Rudri K; Rao, T V Ramana

    2017-01-01

    The effect of composite edible films containing soy protein isolate (SPI) in combination with additives like hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and olive oil on 'Babughosha' pear ( Pyrus communis L.) stored at ambient temperature (28 ± 5 °C and 60 ± 10% RH) was evaluated using Response surface methodology (RSM). A total of 30 edible coating formulations comprising of SPI (2-6%, w/v), olive oil (0.7-1.1%, v/v), HPMC (0.1-0.5%, w/v) and potassium sorbate (0-0.4% w/v) were evaluated for optimizing the most suitable combination. Quality parameters like weight loss%, TSS, pH and titrable acidity of the stored pears were selected as response variables for optimization. The optimization procedure was carried out using RSM. It was observed that the response variables were mainly effected by concentration of SPI and olive oil in the formulation. Edible coating comprising of SPI 5%, HPMC 0.40%, olive oil 1% and potassium sorbate 0.22% was found to be most suitable combination for pear fruit with predicted values of response variables indicated as weight loss% 3.50, pH 3.41, TSS 11.13 and TA% 0.513.

  8. An investigation of laser cutting quality of 22MnB5 ultra high strength steel using response surface methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Abdul Fattah Mohd; Aqida, Syarifah Nur

    2017-07-01

    In hot press forming, changes of mechanical properties in boron steel blanks have been a setback in trimming the final shape components. This paper presents investigation of kerf width and heat affected zone (HAZ) of ultra high strength 22MnB5 steel cutting. Sample cutting was conducted using a 4 kW Carbon Dioxide (CO2) laser machine with 10.6 μm wavelength with the laser spot size of 0.2 mm. A response surface methodology (RSM) using three level Box-Behnken design of experiment was developed with three factors of peak power, cutting speed and duty cycle. The parameters were optimised for minimum kerf width and HAZ formation. Optical evaluation using MITUTOYO TM 505 were conducted to measure the kerf width and HAZ region. From the findings, laser duty cycle was crucial to determine cutting quality of ultra-high strength steel; followed by cutting speed and laser power. Meanwhile, low power intensity with continuous wave contributes the narrowest kerf width formation and least HAZ region.

  9. Higher Mediterranean Diet Quality Scores and Lower Body Mass Index Are Associated with a Less-Oxidized Plasma Glutathione and Cysteine Redox Status in Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettermann, Erika L; Hartman, Terryl J; Easley, Kirk A; Ferranti, Erin P; Jones, Dean P; Quyyumi, Arshed A; Vaccarino, Viola; Ziegler, Thomas R; Alvarez, Jessica A

    2018-02-01

    Both systemic redox status and diet quality are associated with risk outcomes in chronic disease. It is not known, however, the extent to which diet quality influences plasma thiol/disulfide redox status. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of diet, as measured by diet quality scores and other dietary factors, on systemic thiol/disulfide redox status. We performed a cross-sectional study of 685 working men and women (ages ≥18 y) in Atlanta, GA. Diet was assessed by 3 diet quality scores: the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS). We measured concentrations of plasma glutathione (GSH), cysteine, their associated oxidized forms [glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and cystine (CySS), respectively], and their redox potentials (EhGSSG and EhCySS) to determine thiol/disulfide redox status. Linear regression modeling was performed to assess relations between diet and plasma redox after adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), sex, race, and history of chronic disease. MDS was positively associated with plasma GSH (β = 0.02; 95% CI: 0.003, 0.03) and total GSH (GSH + GSSG) (β = 0.02; 95% CI: 0.003, 0.03), and inversely associated with the CySS:GSH ratio (β = -0.02; 95% CI: -0.04, -0.004). There were significant independent associations between individual MDS components (dairy, vegetables, fish, and monounsaturated fat intake) and varying plasma redox indexes (P indexes and other diet factors of interest were not significantly correlated with plasma thiol and disulfide redox measures. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with a favorable plasma thiol/disulfide redox profile, independent of BMI, in a generally healthy working adult population. Although longitudinal studies are warranted, these findings contribute to the feasibility of targeting a Mediterranean diet to improve plasma redox status.

  10. Methodological quality of diagnostic accuracy studies on non-invasive coronary CT angiography: influence of QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies included in systematic reviews) items on sensitivity and specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schueler, Sabine; Walther, Stefan; Schuetz, Georg M. [Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Charite Medical School, Department of Radiology, Berlin (Germany); Schlattmann, Peter [University Hospital of Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Documentation, Jena (Germany); Dewey, Marc [Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Charite Medical School, Department of Radiology, Berlin (Germany); Charite, Institut fuer Radiologie, Berlin (Germany)

    2013-06-15

    To evaluate the methodological quality of diagnostic accuracy studies on coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography using the QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies included in systematic reviews) tool. Each QUADAS item was individually defined to adapt it to the special requirements of studies on coronary CT angiography. Two independent investigators analysed 118 studies using 12 QUADAS items. Meta-regression and pooled analyses were performed to identify possible effects of methodological quality items on estimates of diagnostic accuracy. The overall methodological quality of coronary CT studies was merely moderate. They fulfilled a median of 7.5 out of 12 items. Only 9 of the 118 studies fulfilled more than 75 % of possible QUADAS items. One QUADAS item (''Uninterpretable Results'') showed a significant influence (P = 0.02) on estimates of diagnostic accuracy with ''no fulfilment'' increasing specificity from 86 to 90 %. Furthermore, pooled analysis revealed that each QUADAS item that is not fulfilled has the potential to change estimates of diagnostic accuracy. The methodological quality of studies investigating the diagnostic accuracy of non-invasive coronary CT is only moderate and was found to affect the sensitivity and specificity. An improvement is highly desirable because good methodology is crucial for adequately assessing imaging technologies. (orig.)

  11. Methodological quality of diagnostic accuracy studies on non-invasive coronary CT angiography: influence of QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies included in systematic reviews) items on sensitivity and specificity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schueler, Sabine; Walther, Stefan; Schuetz, Georg M.; Schlattmann, Peter; Dewey, Marc

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the methodological quality of diagnostic accuracy studies on coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography using the QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies included in systematic reviews) tool. Each QUADAS item was individually defined to adapt it to the special requirements of studies on coronary CT angiography. Two independent investigators analysed 118 studies using 12 QUADAS items. Meta-regression and pooled analyses were performed to identify possible effects of methodological quality items on estimates of diagnostic accuracy. The overall methodological quality of coronary CT studies was merely moderate. They fulfilled a median of 7.5 out of 12 items. Only 9 of the 118 studies fulfilled more than 75 % of possible QUADAS items. One QUADAS item (''Uninterpretable Results'') showed a significant influence (P = 0.02) on estimates of diagnostic accuracy with ''no fulfilment'' increasing specificity from 86 to 90 %. Furthermore, pooled analysis revealed that each QUADAS item that is not fulfilled has the potential to change estimates of diagnostic accuracy. The methodological quality of studies investigating the diagnostic accuracy of non-invasive coronary CT is only moderate and was found to affect the sensitivity and specificity. An improvement is highly desirable because good methodology is crucial for adequately assessing imaging technologies. (orig.)

  12. Investigating the association between medication adherence and health-related quality of life in COPD : Methodological challenges when using a proxy measure of adherence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boland, Melinde R. S.; van Boven, Job F. M.; Kruis, Annemarije L.; Chavannes, Niels H.; van der Molen, Thys; Goossens, Lucas M. A.; Rutten-van Molken, Maureen P. M. H.

    Background: The association between non-adherence to medication and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) remains poorly understood. Different ways to deal with methodological challenges to estimate this association have probably contributed to

  13. The quality of reporting methods and results of cost-effectiveness analyses in Spain: a methodological systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalá-López, Ferrán; Ridao, Manuel; Alonso-Arroyo, Adolfo; García-Altés, Anna; Cameron, Chris; González-Bermejo, Diana; Aleixandre-Benavent, Rafael; Bernal-Delgado, Enrique; Peiró, Salvador; Tabarés-Seisdedos, Rafael; Hutton, Brian

    2016-01-07

    Cost-effectiveness analysis has been recognized as an important tool to determine the efficiency of healthcare interventions and services. There is a need for evaluating the reporting of methods and results of cost-effectiveness analyses and establishing their validity. We describe and examine reporting characteristics of methods and results of cost-effectiveness analyses conducted in Spain during more than two decades. A methodological systematic review was conducted with the information obtained through an updated literature review in PubMed and complementary databases (e.g. Scopus, ISI Web of Science, National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) databases from Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), Índice Médico Español (IME) Índice Bibliográfico Español en Ciencias de la Salud (IBECS)). We identified cost-effectiveness analyses conducted in Spain that used quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as outcome measures (period 1989-December 2014). Two reviewers independently extracted the data from each paper. The data were analysed descriptively. In total, 223 studies were included. Very few studies (10; 4.5 %) reported working from a protocol. Most studies (200; 89.7 %) were simulation models and included a median of 1000 patients. Only 105 (47.1 %) studies presented an adequate description of the characteristics of the target population. Most study interventions were categorized as therapeutic (189; 84.8 %) and nearly half (111; 49.8 %) considered an active alternative as the comparator. Effectiveness of data was derived from a single study in 87 (39.0 %) reports, and only few (40; 17.9 %) used evidence synthesis-based estimates. Few studies (42; 18.8 %) reported a full description of methods for QALY calculation. The majority of the studies (147; 65.9 %) reported that the study intervention produced "more costs and more QALYs" than the comparator. Most studies (200; 89.7 %) reported favourable

  14. Parent reports of health-related quality of life and heart failure severity score independently predict outcome in children with dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boer, Susanna L; Baart, Sara J; van der Meulen, Marijke H; van Iperen, Gabriëlle G; Backx, Ad P; Ten Harkel, Arend D; Rammeloo, Lukas A; du Marchie Sarvaas, Gideon J; Tanke, Ronald B; Helbing, Willem A; Utens, Elisabeth M; Dalinghaus, Michiel

    2017-08-01

    Dilated cardiomyopathy in children causes heart failure and has a poor prognosis. Health-related quality of life in this patient group is unknown. Moreover, results may provide detailed information of parents' sense of their child's functioning. We hypothesised that health-related quality of life, as rated by parents, and the paediatric heart failure score, as assessed by physicians, have both predictive value on outcome. Methods and results In this prospective study, health-related quality of life was assessed by parent reports: the Infant Toddler Quality of Life questionnaire (0-4 years) or Child Health Questionnaire-Parent Form 50 (4-18 years) at 3-6-month intervals. We included 90 children (median age 3.8 years, interquartile range (IQR) 0.9-12.3) whose parents completed 515 questionnaires. At the same visit, physicians completed the New York University Pediatric Heart Failure Index. Compared with Dutch normative data, quality of life was severely impaired at diagnosis (0-4 years: 7/10 subscales and 4-18 years: 8/11 subscales) and ⩾1 year after diagnosis (3/10 and 6/11 subscales). Older children were more impaired (pFailure Index were independently predictive of the risk of death and heart transplantation (hazard ratio 1.24 per 10% decrease of predicted, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.47 and hazard ratio 1.38 per unit, 95% CI 1.19-1.61, respectively). Physical impairment rated by parents and heart failure severity assessed by physicians independently predicted the risk of death or heart transplantation in children with dilated cardiomyopathy.

  15. Reliability, construct and criterion validity of the KIDSCREEN-10 score: a short measure for children and adolescents’ well-being and health-related quality of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erhart, Michael; Rajmil, Luis; Herdman, Michael; Auquier, Pascal; Bruil, Jeanet; Power, Mick; Duer, Wolfgang; Abel, Thomas; Czemy, Ladislav; Mazur, Joanna; Czimbalmos, Agnes; Tountas, Yannis; Hagquist, Curt; Kilroe, Jean

    2010-01-01

    Background To assess the criterion and construct validity of the KIDSCREEN-10 well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) score, a short version of the KIDSCREEN-52 and KIDSCREEN-27 instruments. Methods The child self-report and parent report versions of the KIDSCREEN-10 were tested in a sample of 22,830 European children and adolescents aged 8–18 and their parents (n = 16,237). Correlation with the KIDSCREEN-52 and associations with other generic HRQoL measures, physical and mental health, and socioeconomic status were examined. Score differences by age, gender, and country were investigated. Results Correlations between the 10-item KIDSCREEN score and KIDSCREEN-52 scales ranged from r = 0.24 to 0.72 (r = 0.27–0.72) for the self-report version (proxy-report version). Coefficients below r = 0.5 were observed for the KIDSCREEN-52 dimensions Financial Resources and Being Bullied only. Cronbach alpha was 0.82 (0.78), test–retest reliability was ICC = 0.70 (0.67) for the self- (proxy-)report version. Correlations between other children self-completed HRQoL questionnaires and KIDSCREEN-10 ranged from r = 0.43 to r = 0.63 for the KIDSCREEN children self-report and r = 0.22–0.40 for the KIDSCREEN parent proxy report. Known group differences in HRQoL between physically/mentally healthy and ill children were observed in the KIDSCREEN-10 self and proxy scores. Associations with self-reported psychosomatic complaints were r = −0.52 (−0.36) for the KIDSCREEN-10 self-report (proxy-report). Statistically significant differences in KIDSCREEN-10 self and proxy scores were found by socioeconomic status, age, and gender. Conclusions Our results indicate that the KIDSCREEN-10 provides a valid measure of a general HRQoL factor in children and adolescents, but the instrument does not represent well most of the single dimensions of the original KIDSCREEN-52. Test–retest reliability was slightly below a priori defined thresholds. PMID:20668950

  16. Psychosocial and Quality of Life in Women Receiving the 21-Gene Recurrence Score Assay: The Impact of Decision Style in Women with Intermediate RS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadiyah Sulayman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Multigene assays such as the 21-gene recurrence score (RS quantify risk for recurrence and potential benefit from chemotherapy in early-stage, ER+ breast cancers. Few studies have assessed the impact of testing on patient-reported outcomes such as cancer-related distress or quality of life. The few studies that have assessed these outcomes do not consider potential modifiers, such as the patients’ level of involvement in the treatment decision-making process. In the current study, 81 breast cancer patients who received the RS assay completed cross-sectional surveys. We used linear multiple regression to assess whether test result, decision-making role (passive versus shared/active, and their interaction contributed to current levels of distress, quality of life, and decisional conflict. There were no associations between these variables and test result or decision-making role. However, women who received an intermediate RS and took a passive role in their care reported higher-cancer-related distress and cancer worry and lower quality of life than those who took a shared or active role. These data should be confirmed in prospective samples, as these poorer outcomes could be amenable to intervention.

  17. Psychosocial and Quality of Life in Women Receiving the 21-Gene Recurrence Score Assay: The Impact of Decision Style in Women with Intermediate RS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sulayman, N.; Spellman, E.; Graves, K. D.; Peshkin, B. N.; Isaacs, C.; Schwartz, M. D.; O’Neill, S. C.

    2012-01-01

    Multigene assays such as the 21-gene recurrence score (RS) quantify risk for recurrence and potential benefit from chemotherapy in early-stage, ER+ breast cancers. Few studies have assessed the impact of testing on patient-reported outcomes such as cancer-related distress or quality of life. The few studies that have assessed these outcomes do not consider potential modifiers, such as the patients’ level of involvement in the treatment decision-making process. In the current study, 81 breast cancer patients who received the RS assay completed cross-sectional surveys. We used linear multiple regression to assess whether test result, decision-making role (passive versus shared/active), and their interaction contributed to current levels of distress, quality of life, and decisional conflict. There were no associations between these variables and test result or decision-making role. However, women who received an intermediate RS and took a passive role in their care reported higher-cancer-related distress and cancer worry and lower quality of life than those who took a shared or active role. These data should be confirmed in prospective samples, as these poorer outcomes could be amenable to intervention

  18. An audit of the impact of a consultation with a paediatric dermatology team on quality of life in infants with atopic eczema and their families: further validation of the Infants' Dermatitis Quality of Life Index and Dermatitis Family Impact score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, P E; Lewis-Jones, M S

    2006-12-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) accounts for 10-20% of referrals to secondary care dermatology, often requiring multiple visits and occupying much valuable time and resources. We audited the usefulness (ease of use, reliability and sensitivity to change) of two simple and easy to use quality of life (QoL) measures, the Infants' Dermatitis Quality of Life Index (IDQOL) and Dermatitis Family Impact (DFI), for assessing the impact on QoL of AD in infants and their families in a routine clinical setting. We also examined the impact of an initial consultation with a dermatology team on AD severity and QoL impairment from the parent's perspective. The parents of 203 infants (mean age 19.8 months) with AD attending paediatric dermatology clinics completed the DFI and IDQOL. The parents of 50 of these infants completed both questionnaires before first and second consultations. In the 203 children the mean of both the IDQOL and DFI scores was 8.47 (median 8 and 7 and SD 5.8 and 6.5, respectively). The IDQOL and DFI correlated well (r(s) = 0.776, P emotional distress. In both measures these domains also correlated most strongly with eczema severity. After dermatology consultation the median global severity score, rated by 50 parents, fell from 2 (SD 0.83) to 1 (SD 0.8; 95% confidence interval, CI 0.5-1), the median IDQOL score fell from 8 (SD 5.92) to 5.5 (SD 5.92; 95% CI 2-5.5) and the median DFI score fell from 9 (SD 6.45) to 3 (SD 6.56; 95% CI 2-5.5). In 50 infants the median IDQOL scores for those infants with global AD severity scores of 1, 2 and 3 were 5 (SD 5.65), 8 (SD 4.27) and 14 (SD 5.67), respectively and improved by 10%, 38% and 64%, respectively while the median DFI scores improved by 54%, 56% and 79%, respectively. The most improved IDQOL items were the time taken to get to sleep and difficulty at mealtimes and the most improved DFI domains were tiredness/exhaustion and emotional distress in the parents. We have provided further important information on the effects of

  19. Epidemiology of Functional abdominal bloating and its impact on health related quality of life: male-female stratified propensity score analysis in a population based survey in mainland China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Meijing; Zhao, Yanfang; Wang, Rui; Zheng, Wenxin; Guo, Xiaojing; Wu, Shunquan; Ma, Xiuqiang; He, Jia

    2014-01-01

    The epidemiology of Functional abdominal bloating (FAB) and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Chinese people remains unclear. Randomised, stratified, multi-stage sampling methodology was used to select a representative sample of the general population from five cities in China (n = 16,078). All respondents completed the modified Rome II questionnaire; 20% were asked to complete the 36-item Short Form (SF-36). The associated factors of FAB were analyzed. The effects of FAB on HRQoL were estimated with gender stratification using propensity score techniques in 20% subsample. Overall, 643 individuals (4.00%) had FAB and it was more prevalent in males than in females (4.87% vs. 3.04%, Pproblems (P = 0.030) and bodily pain (PChina was lower than previous reports. Males who had ever been diagnosed with dyspepsia and females who were in a poor self-reported health status were correlated with a higher prevalence of FAB. FAB affected only physical health in females, but impaired both physical and mental health in males.

  20. Structural Equation Modelling with Three Schemes Estimation of Score Factors on Partial Least Square (Case Study: The Quality Of Education Level SMA/MA in Sumenep Regency)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anekawati, Anik; Widjanarko Otok, Bambang; Purhadi; Sutikno

    2017-06-01

    Research in education often involves a latent variable. Statistical analysis technique that has the ability to analyze the pattern of relationship among latent variables as well as between latent variables and their indicators is Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). SEM partial least square (PLS) was developed as an alternative if these conditions are met: the theory that underlying the design of the model is weak, does not assume a certain scale measurement, the sample size should not be large and the data does not have the multivariate normal distribution. The purpose of this paper is to compare the results of modeling of the educational quality in high school level (SMA/MA) in Sumenep Regency with structural equation modeling approach partial least square with three schemes estimation of score factors. This paper is a result of explanatory research using secondary data from Sumenep Education Department and Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) Sumenep which was data of Sumenep in the Figures and the District of Sumenep in the Figures for the year 2015. The unit of observation in this study were districts in Sumenep that consists of 18 districts on the mainland and 9 districts in the islands. There were two endogenous variables and one exogenous variable. Endogenous variables are the quality of education level of SMA/MA (Y1) and school infrastructure (Y2), whereas exogenous variable is socio-economic condition (X1). In this study, There is one improved model which represented by model from path scheme because this model is a consistent, all of its indicators are valid and its the value of R-square increased which is: Y1=0.651Y2. In this model, the quality of education influenced only by the school infrastructure (0.651). The socio-economic condition did not affect neither the school infrastructure nor the quality of education. If the school infrastructure increased 1 point, then the quality of education increased 0.651 point. The quality of education had an R2 of 0

  1. [Evaluation of the methodological quality of the Rémic (microbiology guidelines - bacteriology and mycology) of the Société française de microbiologie].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonfrède, Michèle; Couaillac, Jean Paul; Augereau, Christine; De Moüy, Danny; Lepargneur, Jean Pierre; Szymanowicz, Anton; Watine, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    We have evaluated the methodological quality of the Rémic (microbiology guidelines - bacteriology and mycology) of the Société française de microbiologie (edition2007), using to AGREE criteria, which are consensual at an international level, in particular at the the World Health Organisation (WHO) and at the European Union. The methodological quality of the Rémic appears to be sub-optimal. These shortcomings in quality are mainly observed in AGREE domain n° 5 (applicability), in AGREE item n° 5 (patients' opinions were not considered), and in AGREE item n° 23 (conflicts of interest were not declared). The users of the Rémic must be aware of these few methodological shortcomings in order for them to be careful before they put its recommendation in practice. In conclusion, we advise the editors of the Rémic to insert at least a methodological chapter in their next edition.

  2. Relationship between body mass index, fat mass and lean mass with SF-36 quality of life scores in a group of fibromyalgia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Laura; Canela, Miguel Angel; Rafecas, Magda

    2012-11-01

    Patients suffering from fibromyalgia (FM) had widespread musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, fatigue, sleep disorders, cognitive impairment and other symptoms, which seriously affects their quality of life (QoL), making it difficult to perform normal activities. Moreover, FM has been associated with a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than in the general population. Weight reduction has been beneficial in both FM and other rheumatic patients. Obesity and overweight have been pointed as playing a relevant role in FM symptoms; however, it is necessary to find out more about this relationship. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI), fat mass (fM) and lean mass (lM) with quality of life in a group of FM patients. 103 women, with a mean age of 53.74 ± 7.81, and members of different FM patient associations from Spain participated in our study. Some anthropometric measures were taken like weight, height, BMI, body fat mass and lean mass. FM patients QoL was assessed by the Short-Form Health Survey, SF-36 questionnaire. Statistical reports were based on mean, standard deviation and correlation, but significance was tested by nonparametric methods. BMI, fM and lM correlated differently with the specific SF-36 scores. BMI had a high negative correlation with emotional role, fM with bodily pain and lM almost with all scores but specially with emotional role, vitality and physical role. The outcome of this study reveals some interesting relationships, which need to be further investigated to improve the management of FM patients.

  3. Elastogram quality assessment score in vibration-controlled transient elastography: Diagnostic performance compared to digital morphometric analysis of liver biopsy in chronic hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, L C; Ferreira, P A; Miotto, N; Zanaga, L; Gonçales, E S L; Pedro, M N; Lazarini, M S; Júnior, F L G; Stucchi, R S B; Vigani, A G

    2018-04-01

    Vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE) is widely used for noninvasive fibrosis staging in chronic hepatitis C. However, internal validation is based solely on variability and success rate and lacks reproducible quality indicators. We analysed the graphic representation of shear wave propagation in comparison with morphometric results of liver biopsy, eliminating observer variability bias. Individual elastograms were classified according to two morphologic criteria: extension of wave propagation (length of the graphic representation) and shear wave dispersal (level of parallelism displayed in the elastogram). Then, a score based on these criteria stratified the elastogram in classes I through III (highest to lowest technical quality). Liver stiffness results of each measurement were compared with collagen contents in liver biopsy by morphometric analysis. A total of 3243 elastograms were studied (316 patients). Digital morphometry in liver biopsy showed significant fibrosis in 66% of samples and advanced fibrosis in 31%. Elastogram quality analysis resulted in 1438 class I measurements (44%), 1070 class II (34%) and 735 class III. Area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) for severe fibrosis according to class (I, II and III) was 0.941, 0.887 and 0.766, respectively. For advanced fibrosis, AUROCs were 0.977, 0.883 and 0.781, respectively. Spearman's correlation testing for all classes and levels of fibrosis demonstrated significant independent association (r 2  = -.95, P digital morphometric imaging analysis. We concluded that VCTE performance is significantly influenced by quality assessment of individual measurements. Considering these criteria in clinical practice may improve accuracy. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Model development for mechanical properties and weld quality class of friction stir welding using multi-objective Taguchi method and response surface methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, Mohamed Ackiel; Manurung, Yupiter HP; Berhan, Mohamed Nor

    2015-01-01

    This study presents the effect of the governing parameters in friction stir welding (FSW) on the mechanical properties and weld quality of a 6mm thick 6061 T651 Aluminum alloy butt joint. The main FSW parameters, the rotational and traverse speed were optimized based on multiple mechanical properties and quality features, which focus on the tensile strength, hardness and the weld quality class using the multi-objective Taguchi method (MTM). Multi signal to noise ratio (MSNR) was employed to determine the optimum welding parameters for MTM while further analysis concerning the significant level determination was accomplished via the well-established analysis of variance (ANOVA). Furthermore, the first order model for predicting the mechanical properties and weld quality class is derived by applying response surface methodology (RSM). Based on the experimental confirmation test, the proposed method can effectively estimate the mechanical properties and weld quality class which can be used to enhance the welding performance in FSW or other applications.

  5. Model development for mechanical properties and weld quality class of friction stir welding using multi-objective Taguchi method and response surface methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohamed, Mohamed Ackiel [University Kuala Lumpur Malaysia France Institute, Bandar Baru Bangi (Malaysia); Manurung, Yupiter HP; Berhan, Mohamed Nor [Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam (Malaysia)

    2015-06-15

    This study presents the effect of the governing parameters in friction stir welding (FSW) on the mechanical properties and weld quality of a 6mm thick 6061 T651 Aluminum alloy butt joint. The main FSW parameters, the rotational and traverse speed were optimized based on multiple mechanical properties and quality features, which focus on the tensile strength, hardness and the weld quality class using the multi-objective Taguchi method (MTM). Multi signal to noise ratio (MSNR) was employed to determine the optimum welding parameters for MTM while further analysis concerning the significant level determination was accomplished via the well-established analysis of variance (ANOVA). Furthermore, the first order model for predicting the mechanical properties and weld quality class is derived by applying response surface methodology (RSM). Based on the experimental confirmation test, the proposed method can effectively estimate the mechanical properties and weld quality class which can be used to enhance the welding performance in FSW or other applications.

  6. Examination of the Five Comparable Component Scores of the Diet Quality Indexes HEI-2005 and RC-DQI Using a Nationally Representative Sample of 2–18 Year Old Children: NHANES 2003–2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sibylle Kranz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Obesity has been associated with low diet quality and the suboptimal intake of food groups and nutrients. Two composite diet quality measurement tools are appropriate for Americans 2–18 years old: the Healthy Eating Index (HEI 2005 and the Revised Children’s Diet Quality Index (RC-DQI. The five components included in both indexes are fruits, vegetables, total grains, whole grains, and milk/dairy. Component scores ranged from 0 to 5 or 0 to 10 points with lower scores indicating suboptimal intake. To allow direct comparisons, one component was rescaled by dividing it by 2; then, all components ranged from 0 to 5 points. The aim of this study was to directly compare the scoring results of these five components using dietary data from a nationally representative sample of children (NHANES 2003–2006, . Correlation coefficients within and between indexes showed less internal consistency in the HEI; age- and ethnic-group stratified analyses indicated higher sensitivity of the RC-DQI. HEI scoring was likely to dichotomize the population into two groups (those with 0 and those with 5 points, while RC-DQI scores resulted in a larger distribution of scores. The scoring scheme of diet quality indexes for children results in great variation of the outcomes, and researchers must be aware of those effects.

  7. On-farm animal welfare assessment in beef bulls: consistency over time of single measures and aggregated Welfare Quality(®) scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, M K; Schulze Westerath, H; Knierim, U; Tessitore, E; Cozzi, G; Winckler, C

    2014-03-01

    Consistency over time of (on-farm) animal welfare assessment systems forms part of reliability, meaning that results of the assessment should be representative of the longer-term welfare state of the farm as long as the housing and management conditions have not changed considerably. This is especially important if assessments are to be used for certification purposes. It was the aim of the present study to investigate consistency over time of the Welfare Quality(®) (WQ(®)) assessment system for fattening cattle at single measure level, aggregated criterion and principle scores, and overall classification across short-term (1 month) and longer-term periods (6 months). We hypothesized that consistency over time of aggregated criterion and principle scores is higher than that of single measures. Consistency was also expected to be lower with longer intervals between assessments. Data were obtained using the WQ(®) protocol for fattening cattle during three visits (months 0, 1 and 7) on 63 beef farms in Austria, Germany and Italy. Only data from farms where no major changes in housing and management had taken place were considered for analysis. At the single measure level, Spearman rank correlations between visits were >0.7 and variance was lower within farms than between farms for six and two of 19 measures after 1 month and 6 months, respectively. After aggregation of single measures into criterion and principle scores, five and two of 10 criteria and three and one of four principles were found reliable after 1 and 6 months, respectively. At the WQ(®) principle level, this was the case for three and one of four principles. Seventy-nine per cent and 75% of the farms were allocated to the same overall welfare category after 1 month and 6 months. Possible reasons for a lack of consistency are seasonal effects or short-term fluctuations that occur under normal farm conditions, low prevalence of clinical measures and probably insufficient sample size, whereas poor

  8. Global tilt and lumbar lordosis index: two parameters correlating with health-related quality of life scores-but how do they truly impact disability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boissière, Louis; Takemoto, Mitsuru; Bourghli, Anouar; Vital, Jean-Marc; Pellisé, Ferran; Alanay, Ahmet; Yilgor, Caglar; Acaroglu, Emre; Perez-Grueso, Francisco Javier; Kleinstück, Frank; Obeid, Ibrahim

    2017-04-01

    Many radiological parameters have been reported to correlate with patient's disability including sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic tilt (PT), and pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI-LL). European literature reports other parameters such as lumbar lordosis index (LLI) and the global tilt (GT). If most parameters correlate with health-related quality of life scores (HRQLs), their impact on disability remains unclear. This study aimed to validate these parameters by investigating their correlation with HRQLs. It also aimed to evaluate the relationship between each of these sagittal parameters and HRQLs to fully understand the impact in adult spinal deformity management. A retrospective review of a multicenter, prospective database was carried out. The database inclusion criteria were adults (>18 years old) presenting any of the following radiographic parameters: scoliosis (Cobb ≥20°), SVA ≥5 cm, thoracic kyphosis ≥60° or PT ≥25°. All patients with complete data at baseline were included. Health-related quality of life scores, demographic variables (DVs), and radiographic parameters were collected at baseline. Differences in HRQLs among groups of each DV were assessed with analyses of variance. Correlations between radiographic variables and HRQLs were assessed using the Spearman rank correlation. Multivariate linear regression models were fitted for each of the HRQLs (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], Scoliosis Research Society-22 subtotal score, or physical component summaries) with sagittal parameters and covariants as independent variables. A p<.05 value was considered statistically significant. Among a total of 755 included patients (mean age, 52.1 years), 431 were non-surgical candidates and 324 were surgical candidates. Global tilt and LLI significantly correlated with HRQLs (r=0.4 and -0.3, respectively) for univariate analysis. Demographic variables such as age, gender, body mass index, past surgery, and surgical or non-surgical candidate

  9. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of a Measure of Staff/Child Interaction Quality (the Classroom Assessment Scoring System) in Early Childhood Education and Care Settings and Child Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Michal; Falenchuk, Olesya; Fletcher, Brooke; McMullen, Evelyn; Beyene, Joseph; Shah, Prakesh S

    2016-01-01

    The quality of staff/child interactions as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs is thought to be important for children's outcomes. The CLASS is made of three domains that assess Emotional Support, Classroom Organization and Instructional Support. It is a relatively new measure that is being used increasingly for research, quality monitoring/accountability and other applied purposes. Our objective was to evaluate the association between the CLASS and child outcomes. Searches of Medline, PsycINFO, ERIC, websites of large datasets and reference sections of all retrieved articles were conducted up to July 3, 2015. Studies that measured association between the CLASS and child outcomes for preschool-aged children who attended ECEC programs were included after screening by two independent reviewers. Searches and data extraction were conducted by two independent reviewers. Thirty-five studies were systematically reviewed of which 19 provided data for meta-analyses. Most studies had moderate to high risk of bias. Of the 14 meta-analyses we conducted, associations between Classroom Organization and Pencil Tapping and between Instructional Support and SSRS Social Skills were significant with pooled correlations of .06 and .09 respectively. All associations were in the expected direction. In the systematic review, significant correlations were reported mainly from one large dataset. Substantial heterogeneity in use of the CLASS, its dimensions, child outcomes and statistical measures was identified. Greater consistency in study methodology is urgently needed. Given the multitude of factors that impact child development it is encouraging that our analyses revealed some, although small, associations between the CLASS and children's outcomes.

  10. Validation of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST) and association of PSST scores with health-related quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Câmara, Rachel de A; Köhler, Cristiano A; Frey, Benicio N; Hyphantis, Thomas N; Carvalho, André F

    2017-01-01

    To develop and validate a Brazilian Portuguese version of the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST), a questionnaire used for the screening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and of the most severe form of PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The PSST also rates the impact of premenstrual symptoms on daily activities. A consecutive sample of 801 women aged ≥ 18 years completed the study protocol. The internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and content validity of the Brazilian PSST were determined. The independent association of a positive screen for PMS or PMDD and quality of life determined by the World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument-Abbreviated version (WHOQOL-Bref) was also assessed. Of 801 participants, 132 (16.5%) had a positive screening for PMDD. The Brazilian PSST had adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.91) and test-retest reliability. The PSST also had adequate convergent/discriminant validity, without redundancy. Content validity ratio and content validity index were 0.61 and 0.94 respectively. Finally, a positive screen for PMS/PMDD was associated with worse WHOQOL-Bref scores. These findings suggest that PSST is a reliable and valid instrument to screen for PMS/PMDD in Brazilian women.

  11. A Probabilistic Decision-Making Scoring System for Quality and Safety Management in Aloreña de Málaga Table Olive Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Á. Ruiz Bellido

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Table olives are one of the most representatives and consumed fermented vegetables in Mediterranean countries. However, there is an evident lack of standardization of production processes and HACCP systems thus implying the need of establishing decision-making tools allowing their commercialization and shelf-life extension. The present work aims at developing a decision-making scoring system by means of a probabilistic assessment to standardize production process of Aloreña de Málaga table olives based on the identification of potential hazards or deficiencies in hygienic processes for the subsequent implementation of corrective measures. A total of 658 microbiological and physico-chemical data were collected over three consecutive olive campaigns (2014–2016 to measure the variability and relative importance of each elaboration step on total hygienic quality and product safety. Three representative companies were visited to collect samples from food-contact surfaces, olive fruits, brines, air environment, olive dressings, water tanks, and finished/packaged products. A probabilistic assessment was done based on the establishment of Performance Hygiene and Safety Scores (PHSS 0–100% through a standardized system for evaluating product acceptability. The mean value of the global PHSS for the Aloreña de Málaga table olives processing (PHHSFTOT was 64.82% (90th CI: 52.78–76.39% indicating the high variability among facilities in the evaluated processing steps on final product quality and safety. Washing and cracking, and selection and addition of olive dressings were detected as the most deficient ones in relation to PHSSFi values (p < 0.05 (mean = 53.02 and 56.62%, respectively. The relative contribution of each processing step was quantified by different experts (n = 25 from the Aloreña de Málaga table olive sector through a weighted PHSS (PHSSw. The mean value of PHSSw was 65.53% (90th CI: 53.12–77.52%. The final processing steps

  12. Associations between preoperative Oxford hip and knee scores and costs and quality of life of patients undergoing primary total joint replacement in the NHS England: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibich, Peter; Dakin, Helen A; Price, Andrew James; Beard, David; Arden, Nigel K; Gray, Alastair M

    2018-04-10

    To assess how costs and quality of life (measured by EuroQoL-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D)) before and after total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) vary with age, gender and preoperative Oxford hip score (OHS) and Oxford knee score (OKS). Regression analyses using prospectively collected data from clinical trials, cohort studies and administrative data bases. UK secondary care. Men and women undergoing primary THR or TKR. The Hospital Episode Statistics data linked to patient-reported outcome measures included 602 176 patients undergoing hip or knee replacement who were followed up for up to 6 years. The Knee Arthroplasty Trial included 2217 patients undergoing TKR who were followed up for 12 years. The Clinical Outcomes in Arthroplasty Study cohort included 806 patients undergoing THR and 484 patients undergoing TKR who were observed for 1 year. EQ-5D-3L quality of life before and after surgery, costs of primary arthroplasty, costs of revision arthroplasty and the costs of hospital readmissions and ambulatory costs in the year before and up to 12 years after joint replacement. Average postoperative utility for patients at the 5th percentile of the OHS/OKS distribution was 0.61/0.5 for THR/TKR and 0.89/0.85 for patients at the 95th percentile. The difference between postoperative and preoperative EQ-5D utility was highest for patients with preoperative OHS/OKS lower than 10. However, postoperative EQ-5D utility was higher than preoperative utility for all patients with OHS≤46 and those with OKS≤44. In contrast, costs were generally higher for patients with low preoperative OHS/OKS than those with high OHS/OKS. For example, costs of hospital readmissions within 12 months after primary THR/TKR were £740/£888 for patients at the 5th percentile compared with £314/£404 at the 95th percentile of the OHS/OKS distribution. Our findings suggest that costs and quality of life associated with total joint replacement vary systematically with

  13. An algorithm to assess methodological quality of nutrition and mortality cross-sectional surveys: development and application to surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prudhon, Claudine; de Radiguès, Xavier; Dale, Nancy; Checchi, Francesco

    2011-11-09

    Nutrition and mortality surveys are the main tools whereby evidence on the health status of populations affected by disasters and armed conflict is quantified and monitored over time. Several reviews have consistently revealed a lack of rigor in many surveys. We describe an algorithm for analyzing nutritional and mortality survey reports to identify a comprehensive range of errors that may result in sampling, response, or measurement biases and score quality. We apply the algorithm to surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan. We developed an algorithm based on internationally agreed upon methods and best practices. Penalties are attributed for a list of errors, and an overall score is built from the summation of penalties accrued by the survey as a whole. To test the algorithm reproducibility, it was independently applied by three raters on 30 randomly selected survey reports. The algorithm was further applied to more than 100 surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan. The Intra Class Correlation coefficient was 0.79 for mortality surveys and 0.78 for nutrition surveys. The overall median quality score and range of about 100 surveys conducted in Darfur were 0.60 (0.12-0.93) and 0.675 (0.23-0.86) for mortality and nutrition surveys, respectively. They varied between the organizations conducting the surveys, with no major trend over time. Our study suggests that it is possible to systematically assess quality of surveys and reveals considerable problems with the quality of nutritional and particularly mortality surveys conducted in the Darfur crisis.

  14. An integrated quality function deployment and capital budgeting methodology for occupational safety and health as a systems thinking approach: the case of the construction industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bas, Esra

    2014-07-01

    In this paper, an integrated methodology for Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and a 0-1 knapsack model is proposed for occupational safety and health as a systems thinking approach. The House of Quality (HoQ) in QFD methodology is a systematic tool to consider the inter-relationships between two factors. In this paper, three HoQs are used to consider the interrelationships between tasks and hazards, hazards and events, and events and preventive/protective measures. The final priority weights of events are defined by considering their project-specific preliminary weights, probability of occurrence, and effects on the victim and the company. The priority weights of the preventive/protective measures obtained in the last HoQ are fed into a 0-1 knapsack model for the investment decision. Then, the selected preventive/protective measures can be adapted to the task design. The proposed step-by-step methodology can be applied to any stage of a project to design the workplace for occupational safety and health, and continuous improvement for safety is endorsed by the closed loop characteristic of the integrated methodology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. MR imaging of the articular cartilage of the knee with arthroscopy as gold standard: assessment of methodological quality of clinical studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duchateau, Florence; Berg, Bruno C. vande

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the methodological quality of articles addressing the value of MR imaging of the knee cartilage with arthroscopy as a standard. Relevant papers were selected after Medline review (MEDLINE database search including the terms ''cartilage'' ''knee'', ''MR'' and ''arthroscopy''). Two observers reviewed independently 29 selected articles to determine how each study had met 15 individual standards that had been previously developed to assess the methodological quality of clinical investigations. The following criteria were met in variable percentage of articles including adequate definition of purpose (100%), statistical analysis (90%), avoidance of verification bias (86%), patient population description (83%), reference standard (79%), review bias (79%), study design (66%), inclusion criteria (41%) and method of analysis (41.5%), avoidance of diagnostic-review bias (24%), exclusion criteria (21%), indeterminate examination results (17%), analysis criteria (14%), interobserver reliability (14%) and intraobserver reliability (7%). The assessment of the methodological quality of clinical investigations addressing the value of MR imaging in the evaluation of the articular cartilage of the knee with arthroscopy as the standard of reference demonstrated that several standards were rarely met in the literature. Efforts should be made to rely on clearly defined lesion criteria and to determine reliability of the observations. (orig.)

  16. Health utility scores from EQ-5D and health-related quality of life in patients with esophageal cancer: a real-world cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, M K; Leung, Y; Su, J; Naik, H; Patel, D; Eng, L; Kong, Q Q; Mohsin, F; Brown, M C; Espin-Garcia, O; Vennettilli, A; Renouf, D J; Faluyi, O O; Knox, J J; MacKay, H; Wong, R; Howell, D; Mittmann, N; Darling, G E; Cella, D; Xu, W; Liu, G

    2018-06-14

    Esophageal cancer and its treatment can cause serious morbidity/toxicity. These effects on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) can be measured using disease-specific scales such as FACT-E, generic scales such as EQ-5D-3L, or through symptoms. In a two-year cross-sectional study, we compared HRQOL across esophageal cancer patients treated in an ambulatory clinic and across multiple disease states, among patients with all stages of esophageal cancer. Consenting patients completed FACT-E, EQ-5D, a visual analog scale, and patient reported (PR)-ECOG. Symptom complexes were constructed from FACT-E domains. Responses were categorized by disease state: pre-, during, and post-treatment, surveillance, progression, and palliative chemotherapy. Spearman correlation and multivariable linear regression characterized these associations. In total, 199 patients completed 317 questionnaires. Mean FACT-E and subscale scores dropped from baseline through treatment and recovered during post-treatment surveillance (P < 0.001); EQ-5D health utility scores (HUS) displayed a similar pattern but with smaller differences (P = 0.07), and with evidence of ceiling effect. Among patients with stage II/III esophageal cancer, mean EQ-5D HUS varied across disease states (P < 0.001), along with FACT-E and subscales (P < 0.001). Among patients with advanced disease, there was no significant difference between baseline and on-treatment total scores, but improved esophageal cancer-specific scales were noted (P = 0.003). Strong correlation was observed between EQ-5D and FACT-E (R = 0.73), along with physical and functional subscales. In addition, the association between FACT-E and EQ-5D HUS was maintained in a multivariable model (P < 0.001). We interpret these results to suggest that in a real-world clinic setting, FACT-E, EQ-5D HUS, and symptoms were strongly correlated. Most HRQOL and symptom parameters suggested that patients had worse HRQOL and symptoms during curative therapy

  17. 78 FR 63972 - Notice of Proposed Methodology for the 2014 Delaware River and Bay Water Quality Assessment Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-25

    ... Water Quality Assessment Report AGENCY: Delaware River Basin Commission. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: Notice....us , with ``Water Quality Assessment 2014'' as the subject line; via fax to 609-883-9522; via U.S. Mail to DRBC, Attn: Water Quality Assessment 2014, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360; via...

  18. 76 FR 50188 - Notice of Proposed Methodology for the Delaware River and Bay Integrated List Water Quality...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-12

    ... Integrated List Water Quality Assessment AGENCY: Delaware River Basin Commission. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY... Integrated List Water Quality Assessment is available for review and comment. DATES: Comments must be... should have the phrase ``Water Quality Assessment 2012'' in the subject line and should include the name...

  19. Reporting health-related quality of life scores to physicians during routine follow-up visits of pediatric oncology patients: is it effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelen, Vivian; Detmar, Symone; Koopman, Hendrik; Maurice-Stam, Heleen; Caron, Huib; Hoogerbrugge, Peter; Egeler, R Maarten; Kaspers, Gertjan; Grootenhuis, Martha

    2012-05-01

    The aim of the current study is to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention that provides health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores of the patient (the QLIC-ON PROfile) to the pediatric oncologist. Children with cancer participated in a sequential cohort intervention study: intervention N = 94, control N = 99. Primary outcomes of effectiveness were communication about HRQOL domains (t-test, Mann-Whitney U-test) and identification of HRQOL problems (chi-squared test). Secondary outcomes were satisfaction (multilevel analysis), referrals (chi-squared test), and HRQOL (multilevel analysis). The QLIC-ON PROfile increased discussion of emotional functioning (control M = 32.9 vs. intervention M = 47.4, P vs. M = 63.8, P vs. intervention 3%, P fear (14% vs. 0%, P sadness (26% vs. 0%, P < 0.001). The intervention had no effect on satisfaction and referrals, but did improve HRQOL of patients 5-7 years of age with respect to self-esteem (P < 0.05), family activities (P < 0.05), and psychosocial functioning (P < 0.01). We conclude that a PRO is a helpful tool for systematic monitoring HRQOL of children with cancer, without lengthening the duration of the consultation. It is recommended to be implemented in clinical practice. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Implications of the Integration of Computing Methodologies into Conventional Marketing Research upon the Quality of Students' Understanding of the Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayman, Umut; Serim, Mehmet Cenk

    2004-01-01

    It has been an ongoing concern among academicians teaching social sciences to develop a better methodology to ease understanding of students. Since verbal emphasis is at the core of the concepts within such disciplines it has been observed that the adequate or desired level of conceptual understanding of the students to transforms the theories…

  1. Epidemiology of Functional abdominal bloating and its impact on health related quality of life: male-female stratified propensity score analysis in a population based survey in mainland China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meijing Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The epidemiology of Functional abdominal bloating (FAB and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL in Chinese people remains unclear. METHODS: Randomised, stratified, multi-stage sampling methodology was used to select a representative sample of the general population from five cities in China (n = 16,078. All respondents completed the modified Rome II questionnaire; 20% were asked to complete the 36-item Short Form (SF-36. The associated factors of FAB were analyzed. The effects of FAB on HRQoL were estimated with gender stratification using propensity score techniques in 20% subsample. RESULTS: Overall, 643 individuals (4.00% had FAB and it was more prevalent in males than in females (4.87% vs. 3.04%, P<0.001. For males, self-reported history of dyspepsia was most strongly associated with FAB (OR = 2.78; 95% CI: 1.59, 4.72. However, the most strongly associated factor was self-reported health status for females (moderate health vs. good health: OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.96. P = 0.030; poor health vs. good health: OR = 5.71, 95% CI: 2.06, 15.09. Concerning HRQoL, FAB was found to be related to two domains: role limitation due to physical problems (P = 0.030 and bodily pain (P<0.001 in females. While, in males, there were significant differences in multiple domains between those with and without FAB. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of FAB in China was lower than previous reports. Males who had ever been diagnosed with dyspepsia and females who were in a poor self-reported health status were correlated with a higher prevalence of FAB. FAB affected only physical health in females, but impaired both physical and mental health in males.

  2. Use of Multiple Methodologies for Developing a Customer-Oriented Model of Total Quality Management in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahney, Sangeeta

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Educational institutes must embrace the principles of total quality management (TQM) if they seek to remain competitive, and survive and succeed in the long run. An educational institution must embrace the principles of quality management and incorporate them into all of their activities. Starting with a theoretical background, the paper…

  3. A review of quality assessment of the methodology used in guidelines and systematic reviews on oral mucositis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Potting, C.; Mistiaen, P.; Poot, E.; Blijlevens, N.; Donnelly, P.; Achterberg, T. van

    2009-01-01

    Aims and objectives: The objective of this study was to identify and to assess the quality of evidence-based guidelines and systematic reviews we used in the case of oral mucositis, to apply general quality criteria for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis in patients receiving

  4. A Methodology for Measuring Voice Quality Using PESQ and Interactive Voice Response in the GSM Channel Designed by OpenBTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavol Partila

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses a methodology for rating the quality of mobile calls. Majority telecommunications service from the perspective of the whole world is using mobile telephony networks. One of the problems affecting this service and its quality are landscape barriers, which prevent the spread signal. Price and complex construction of classic BTS does not allow their dense distribution. In such cases, one solution is to use OpenBTS technology. Design of OpenBTS is more available, so it can be applied to much more places and more complex points. Purpose of this measurement is a model for effective stations deployment, due to shape and distribution of local barriers that reduce signal power, and thus the quality of speech. GSM access point for our mobile terminals is OpenBTS USRP N210 station. The PESQ method for evaluating of speech quality is compared with the subjective evaluation, which provides Asterisk PBX with IVR call back. Measurement method was taken into account the call quality depending on terminal position. The measured results and its processing bring knowledge to use this technology for more complicated locations with degraded signal level and increases the quality of voice services in telecommunications.

  5. An algorithm to assess methodological quality of nutrition and mortality cross-sectional surveys: development and application to surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prudhon Claudine

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nutrition and mortality surveys are the main tools whereby evidence on the health status of populations affected by disasters and armed conflict is quantified and monitored over time. Several reviews have consistently revealed a lack of rigor in many surveys. We describe an algorithm for analyzing nutritional and mortality survey reports to identify a comprehensive range of errors that may result in sampling, response, or measurement biases and score quality. We apply the algorithm to surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan. Methods We developed an algorithm based on internationally agreed upon methods and best practices. Penalties are attributed for a list of errors, and an overall score is built from the summation of penalties accrued by the survey as a whole. To test the algorithm reproducibility, it was independently applied by three raters on 30 randomly selected survey reports. The algorithm was further applied to more than 100 surveys conducted in Darfur, Sudan. Results The Intra Class Correlation coefficient was 0.79 for mortality surveys and 0.78 for nutrition surveys. The overall median quality score and range of about 100 surveys conducted in Darfur were 0.60 (0.12-0.93 and 0.675 (0.23-0.86 for mortality and nutrition surveys, respectively. They varied between the organizations conducting the surveys, with no major trend over time. Conclusion Our study suggests that it is possible to systematically assess quality of surveys and reveals considerable problems with the quality of nutritional and particularly mortality surveys conducted in the Darfur crisis.

  6. Developing a set of consensus indicators to support maternity service quality improvement: using Core Outcome Set methodology including a Delphi process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunch, K J; Allin, B; Jolly, M; Hardie, T; Knight, M

    2018-05-16

    To develop a core metric set to monitor the quality of maternity care. Delphi process followed by a face-to-face consensus meeting. English maternity units. Three representative expert panels: service designers, providers and users. Maternity care metrics judged important by participants. Participants were asked to complete a two-phase Delphi process, scoring metrics from existing local maternity dashboards. A consensus meeting discussed the results and re-scored the metrics. In all, 125 distinct metrics across six domains were identified from existing dashboards. Following the consensus meeting, 14 metrics met the inclusion criteria for the final core set: smoking rate at booking; rate of birth without intervention; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 1 women; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 2 women; caesarean section delivery rate in Robson group 5 women; third- and fourth-degree tear rate among women delivering vaginally; rate of postpartum haemorrhage of ≥1500 ml; rate of successful vaginal birth after a single previous caesarean section; smoking rate at delivery; proportion of babies born at term with an Apgar score improvement. Achieving consensus on core metrics for monitoring the quality of maternity care. © 2018 The Authors. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

  7. The natural progression of health-related quality of life: results of a five-year prospective study of SF-36 scores in a normative population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopman, Wilma M; Berger, Claudie; Joseph, Lawrence; Towheed, Tanveer; VandenKerkhof, Elizabeth; Anastassiades, Tassos; Adachi, Jonathan D; Ioannidis, George; Brown, Jacques P; Hanley, David A; Papadimitropoulos, Emmanuel A

    2006-04-01

    Limited information exists regarding the natural progression of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in the general population, as most research has been cross-sectional or has followed populations with specific medical conditions. Such norms are important to establish, because the effect of any intervention may be confounded by changes due to the natural progression of HRQOL over time. Participants were randomly selected from 9 Canadian cities and surrounding rural areas. Changes in the eight domains and 2 summary component scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36) were examined over a 5 year period (1996/1997-2001/2002). Mean changes were calculated for men and women within 10 year age categories. Multiple imputation was used to adjust for potential selection bias due to missing data. The baseline sample included 6539 women and 2884 men. Loss to follow-up was 17% for women and 23% for men. Mean changes tended to be small, but there was an overall trend towards decreasing HRQOL over time. Changes were more pronounced in the older age groups and in the physically oriented domains. Younger age groups tended towards small mean improvements, particularly in the mentally oriented domains. Large standard errors suggest that on an individual level, large improvements in some participants are balanced by large declines in others. In general, the HRQOL of Canadians appears relatively stable over a 5 year period. However, care should be taken when assessing HRQOL longitudinally in certain age or gender groups, as changes associated with an intervention can potentially be confounded by the natural progression of HRQOL.

  8. F-15 inlet/engine test techniques and distortion methodologies studies. Volume 2: Time variant data quality analysis plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, C. H.; Spong, E. D.; Hammock, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Time variant data quality analysis plots were used to determine if peak distortion data taken from a subscale inlet model can be used to predict peak distortion levels for a full scale flight test vehicle.

  9. Quality control methodology and implementation of X-radiation standards beams, mammography level, following the standard IEC 61267

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correa, Eduardo de Lima

    2010-01-01

    In this work it was developed and applied a quality control program of the X radiation system (160 kV, constant potential, target of tungsten) of the Calibration Laboratory of IPEN(LCI) in the energy range relative to mammography beams (from 25 kV to 35 kV). The X radiation standards beams, level mammography, using molybdenum and aluminum as additional filtration, were established after the application of this quality control program following national and international recommendations. The reference ionization chamber has traceability to PTB and was regularly submitted to quality control tests for evaluation and analysis of its performance. The radiation qualities emerging from the X-radiation assembly (RQR-M), based on a phantom made up of an aluminum added filter (RQA-M), narrow beam condition (RQN-M) and broad beam condition (RQB-M), following the recommendations of the international standard IEC 61267 (2005) and the IAEA code of practice, TRS 457 (2007) were established. For the implantation of RQN-M and RQB-M radiation qualities, two mammography phantoms were developed. The half-value layers found are those presented by the German primary laboratory PTB, and varied from 0.35 to 1.21 mm Al. The air kerma rates were obtained for all the 15 implanted qualities. (author)

  10. Trends in Classroom Observation Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casabianca, Jodi M.; Lockwood, J. R.; McCaffrey, Daniel F.

    2015-01-01

    Observations and ratings of classroom teaching and interactions collected over time are susceptible to trends in both the quality of instruction and rater behavior. These trends have potential implications for inferences about teaching and for study design. We use scores on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System-Secondary (CLASS-S) protocol from…

  11. Quality of Work Life: Theoretical and Methodological Problems, and Presentation of a New Model and Measuring Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Jean-Pierre; Dupuis, Gilles

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Ever since the concept of Quality of Work Life (QWL) was first used over 30 years ago, a range of definitions and theoretical constructs have succeeded each other with the aim of mitigating the many problems facing the concept. A historical overview of the concept of QWL is presented here. Given the lack of consensus concerning the…

  12. 40 CFR Appendix A to Part 132 - Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative Methodologies for Development of Aquatic Life Criteria and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    .... If the acute toxicity of the material to aquatic animals has been shown to be related to a water... material to aquatic animals has been shown to be related to a water quality characteristic such as hardness... a material in the water column to which an aquatic community can be exposed briefly without...

  13. Methodology for calculating perception of the user experience of the quality of monitored integrated telecommunications operator services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    2011-01-01

    The invention relates to a method for calculating perception of the user experience of the quality of monitored integrated telecommunications operator services. For this purpose, data from the monitoring of user services is used, along with questionnaires previously completed by a representative

  14. Integrating cost information with health management support system: an enhanced methodology to assess health care quality drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohli, R; Tan, J K; Piontek, F A; Ziege, D E; Groot, H

    1999-08-01

    Changes in health care delivery, reimbursement schemes, and organizational structure have required health organizations to manage the costs of providing patient care while maintaining high levels of clinical and patient satisfaction outcomes. Today, cost information, clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction results must become more fully integrated if strategic competitiveness and benefits are to be realized in health management decision making, especially in multi-entity organizational settings. Unfortunately, traditional administrative and financial systems are not well equipped to cater to such information needs. This article presents a framework for the acquisition, generation, analysis, and reporting of cost information with clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in the context of evolving health management and decision-support system technology. More specifically, the article focuses on an enhanced costing methodology for determining and producing improved, integrated cost-outcomes information. Implementation issues and areas for future research in cost-information management and decision-support domains are also discussed.

  15. Methodology for setup and data processing of mobile air quality measurements to assess the spatial variability of concentrations in urban environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Poppel, Martine; Peters, Jan; Bleux, Nico

    2013-01-01

    A case study is presented to illustrate a methodology for mobile monitoring in urban environments. A dataset of UFP, PM 2.5 and BC concentrations was collected. We showed that repeated mobile measurements could give insight in spatial variability of pollutants at different micro-environments in a city. Streets of contrasting traffic intensity showed increased concentrations by a factor 2–3 for UFP and BC and by 2.5 . The first quartile (P25) of the mobile measurements at an urban background zone seems to be good estimate of the urban background concentration. The local component of the pollutant concentrations was determined by background correction. The use of background correction reduced the number of runs needed to obtain representative results. The results presented, are a first attempt to establish a methodology for setup and data processing of mobile air quality measurements to assess the spatial variability of concentrations in urban environments. -- Highlights: ► Mobile measurements are used to assess the variability of air pollutants in urban environments. ► PM 2.5 , BC and UFP concentrations are presented for zones with different traffic characteristics. ► A methodology for background correction based on the mobile measurements is presented. ► The background concentration is estimated as the 25th percentile of the urban background data. ► The minimum numbers of runs for a representative estimate is reduced after background correction. -- This paper shows that the spatial variability of air pollutants in an urban environment can be assessed by a mobile monitoring methodology including background correction

  16. [Prognostic scores for pulmonary embolism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junod, Alain

    2016-03-23

    Nine prognostic scores for pulmonary embolism (PE), based on retrospective and prospective studies, published between 2000 and 2014, have been analyzed and compared. Most of them aim at identifying PE cases with a low risk to validate their ambulatory care. Important differences in the considered outcomes: global mortality, PE-specific mortality, other complications, sizes of low risk groups, exist between these scores. The most popular score appears to be the PESI and its simplified version. Few good quality studies have tested the applicability of these scores to PE outpatient care, although this approach tends to already generalize in the medical practice.

  17. Quantifying Averted Disability-Adjusted Life Years as a Performance Indicator for Water Quality Interventions: A Review of Current Methodologies and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darcy M. Anderson

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable access to safe drinking water protects against infectious disease and promotes overall health. Despite considerable progress toward increasing water access, safe water quality and reliable service delivery remain a challenge. Traditional financing strategies pay implementers based on inputs and activities, with minimal incentives for water quality monitoring and sustained service operation. Pay-for-performance offers an alternative financing strategy that delivers all or a portion of payment based on performance indicators of desired outputs or outcomes. A pay-for-performance approach in the water sector could quantify and incentivize health impact. Averted disability-adjusted life years (ADALYs have been used as a performance indicator to measure the burden of disease averted due to environmental health interventions. Water-related disease burden can be measured for application as an ADALYs performance indicator following either comparative risk assessment or quantitative microbial risk assessment. Comparative risk assessment models disease burden using water source type as a proxy indicator of microbial water quality, while quantitative microbial risk assessment models disease burden using concentrations of indicator pathogens. This paper compares these risk assessment methodologies, and summarizes the limitations of applying these approaches toward quantifying ADALYs as a performance indicator for water quality interventions.

  18. [A methodological approach to assessing the quality of medical health information on its way from science to the mass media].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serong, Julia; Anhäuser, Marcus; Wormer, Holger

    2015-01-01

    A current research project deals with the question of how the quality of medical health information changes on its way from the academic journal via press releases to the news media. In an exploratory study a sample of 30 news items has been selected stage-by-stage from an adjusted total sample of 1,695 journalistic news items on medical research in 2013. Using a multidimensional set of criteria the news items as well as the corresponding academic articles, abstracts and press releases are examined by science journalists and medical experts. Together with a content analysis of the expert assessments, it will be verified to what extent established quality standards for medical journalism can be applied to medical health communication and public relations or even to studies and abstracts as well. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  19. Measuring health-related quality of life in population-based studies of coronary heart disease: comparing six generic indexes and a disease-specific proxy score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garster, Noelle C; Palta, Mari; Sweitzer, Nancy K; Kaplan, Robert M; Fryback, Dennis G

    2009-11-01

    To compare HRQoL differences with CHD in generic indexes and a proxy CVD-specific score in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The National Health Measurement Study, a cross-sectional random-digit-dialed telephone survey of adults aged 35-89, administered the EQ-5D, QWB-SA, HUI2, HUI3, SF-36v2 (yielding PCS, MCS, and SF-6D), and HALex. Analyses compared 3,350 without CHD (group 1), 265 with CHD not taking chest pain medication (group 2), and 218 with CHD currently taking chest pain medication (group 3), with and without adjustment for demographic variables and comorbidities. Data on 154 patients from heart failure clinics were used to construct a proxy score utilizing generic items probing CVD symptoms. Mean scores differed between CHD groups for all indexes with and without adjustment (P < 0.0001 for all except MCS P = 0.018). Unadjusted group 3 versus 1 differences were about three times larger than for group 2 versus 1. Standardized differences for the proxy score were similar to those for generic indexes, and were about 1.0 for all except MCS for group 3 versus 1. Generic indexes capture differences in HRQoL in population-based studies of CHD similarly to a score constructed from questions probing CVD-specific symptoms.

  20. METHODOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF EXPERT ESTIMATION OF INITIAL DATA COMPLETENESS AND QUALITY ACCORDING TO THE CERTIFIED INFORMATION SECURITY SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. K. Fisenko

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem of information security systems certification is analyzed and the tasks of initial data analysis are carried out. The objectives, indices and decision making criteria, as well as the challenges to be addressed are formulated. It is shown that, in order to improve quality, reduce time and cost of preparation for certification, it is reasonable to use software system for automatization of the process of initial data analysis, presented by the owner of the information system.

  1. Can green roof act as a sink for contaminants? A methodological study to evaluate runoff quality from green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayaraghavan, K; Joshi, Umid Man

    2014-11-01

    The present study examines whether green roofs act as a sink or source of contaminants based on various physico-chemical parameters (pH, conductivity and total dissolved solids) and metals (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb). The performance of green roof substrate prepared using perlite, vermiculite, sand, crushed brick, and coco-peat, was compared with local garden soil based on improvement of runoff quality. Portulaca grandiflora was used as green roof vegetation. Four different green roof configurations, with vegetated and non-vegetated systems, were examined for several artificial rain events (un-spiked and metal-spiked). In general, the vegetated green roof assemblies generated better-quality runoff with less conductivity and total metal ion concentration compared to un-vegetated assemblies. Of the different green roof configurations examined, P. grandiflora planted on green roof substrate acted as sink for various metals and showed the potential to generate better runoff. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Creating a Methodology for Coordinating High-resolution Air Quality Improvement Map and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies in Pittsburgh City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, J.; Donahue, N. M.; Klima, K.; Blackhurst, M.

    2016-12-01

    In order to tradeoff global impacts of greenhouse gases with highly local impacts of conventional air pollution, researchers require a method to compare global and regional impacts. Unfortunately, we are not aware of a method that allows these to be compared, "apples-to-apples". In this research we propose a three-step model to compare possible city-wide actions to reduce greenhouse gases and conventional air pollutants. We focus on Pittsburgh, PA, a city with consistently poor air quality that is interested in reducing both greenhouse gases and conventional air pollutants. First, we use the 2013 Pittsburgh Greenhouse Gas Inventory to update the Blackhurst et al. model and conduct a greenhouse gas abatement potentials and implementation costs of proposed greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Second, we use field tests for PM2.5, NOx, SOx, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) data to inform a Land-use Regression Model for local air pollution at a 100m x 100m spatial level, which combined with a social cost of air pollution model (EASIUR) allows us to calculate economic social damages. Third, we combine these two models into a three-dimensional greenhouse gas cost abatement curve to understand the implementation costs and social benefits in terms of air quality improvement and greenhouse gas abatement for each potential intervention. We anticipated such results could provide policy-maker insights in green city development.

  3. Quality-productivity decision making when turning of Inconel 718 aerospace alloy: A response surface methodology approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Tebassi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Inconel 718 is among difficult to machine materials because of its abrasiveness and high strength even at high temperature. This alloy is mainly used in aircraft and aerospace industries. Therefore, it is very important to reveal and evaluate cutting tools behavior during machining of this kind of alloy. The experimental study presented in this research work has been carried out in order to elucidate surface roughness and productivity mathematical models during turning of Inconel 718 superalloy (35 HRC with SiC Whisker ceramic tool at various cutting parameters (depth of cut, feed rate, cutting speed and radius nose. A small central composite design (SCCD including 16 basics runs replicated three times (48 runs, was adopted and graphically evaluated using Fraction of design space (FDS graph, completed by a statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA. Mathematical models for surface roughness and productivity were developed and normality was improved using the Box-Cox transformation. Results show that surface roughness criterion Ra was mainly influenced by cutting speed, radius nose and feed rate, and that the depth of cut had major effect on productivity. Finally, ranges of optimized cutting conditions were proposed for serial industrial production. Industrial benefit was illustrated in terms of high surface quality accompanied with high productivity. Indeed, results show that the use of optimal cutting condition had an industrial benefit to 46.9 % as an improvement in surface quality Ra and 160.54 % in productivity MRR.

  4. A new time-series methodology for estimating relationships between elderly frailty, remaining life expectancy, and ambient air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Christian J; Lipfert, Frederick W

    2012-01-01

    Many publications estimate short-term air pollution-mortality risks, but few estimate the associated changes in life-expectancies. We present a new methodology for analyzing time series of health effects, in which prior frailty is assumed to precede short-term elderly nontraumatic mortality. The model is based on a subpopulation of frail individuals whose entries and exits (deaths) are functions of daily and lagged environmental conditions: ambient temperature/season, airborne particles, and ozone. This frail susceptible population is unknown; its fluctuations cannot be observed but are estimated using maximum-likelihood methods with the Kalman filter. We used an existing 14-y set of daily data to illustrate the model and then tested the assumption of prior frailty with a new generalized model that estimates the portion of the daily death count allocated to nonfrail individuals. In this demonstration dataset, new entries into the high-risk pool are associated with lower ambient temperatures and higher concentrations of particulate matter and ozone. Accounting for these effects on antecedent frailty reduces this at-risk population, yielding frail life expectancies of 5-7 days. Associations between environmental factors and entries to the at-risk pool are about twice as strong as for mortality. Nonfrail elderly deaths are seen to make only small contributions. This new model predicts a small short-lived frail population-at-risk that is stable over a wide range of environmental conditions. The predicted effects of pollution on new entries and deaths are robust and consistent with conventional morbidity/mortality times-series studies. We recommend model verification using other suitable datasets.

  5. SU-E-T-43: A Methodology for Quality Control of IMPT Treatment Plan Based On VMAT Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, S [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (United States); Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital (China); Yang, Y [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (United States); Tianjin First Center Hospital (China); Liao, L; Wang, X; Li, H; Zhu, X; Zhang, X [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: IMPT plan design is highly dependent on planner’s experiences. VMAT plan design is relatively mature and can even be automated. The quality of IMPT plan designed by in-experienced planner could be inferior to that of VMAT plan designed by experienced planner or automatic planning software. Here we introduce a method for designing IMPT plan based on VMAT plan to ensure the IMPT plan be superior to IMRT/VMAT plan for majority clinical scenario. Methods: To design a new IMPT plan, a VMAT plan is first generated either by experienced planner or by in-house developed automatic planning system. An in-house developed tool is used to generate the dose volume constrains for the IMPT plan as plan template to Eclipse TPS. The beam angles for IMPT plan are selected based on the preferred angles in the VMAT plan. IMPT plan is designed by importing the plan objectives generated from VMAT plan. Majority thoracic IMPT plans are designed using this plan approach in our center. In this work, a thoracic IMPT plan under RTOG 1308 protocol is selected to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of this approach. The dosimetric indices of IMPT are compared with VMAT plan. Results: The PTV D95, lung V20, MLD, mean heart dose, esophagus D1, cord D1 are 70Gy, 31%, 17.8Gy, 25.5Gy, 73Gy, 45Gy for IMPT plan and 65.3Gy, 34%, 21.6Gy, 35Gy, 74Gy, 48Gy for VMAT plan. For majority cases, the high dose region of the normal tissue which is in proximity of PTV is comparable between IMPT and VMAT plan. The low dose region of the IMPT plan is significantly better than VMAT plan. Conclusion: Using the knowledge gained in VMAT plan design can help efficiently and effectively design high quality IMPT plan. The quality of IMPT plan can be controlled to ensure the superiority of IMPT plan compared to VMAT/IMRT plan.

  6. SU-E-T-43: A Methodology for Quality Control of IMPT Treatment Plan Based On VMAT Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang, S; Yang, Y; Liao, L; Wang, X; Li, H; Zhu, X; Zhang, X

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: IMPT plan design is highly dependent on planner’s experiences. VMAT plan design is relatively mature and can even be automated. The quality of IMPT plan designed by in-experienced planner could be inferior to that of VMAT plan designed by experienced planner or automatic planning software. Here we introduce a method for designing IMPT plan based on VMAT plan to ensure the IMPT plan be superior to IMRT/VMAT plan for majority clinical scenario. Methods: To design a new IMPT plan, a VMAT plan is first generated either by experienced planner or by in-house developed automatic planning system. An in-house developed tool is used to generate the dose volume constrains for the IMPT plan as plan template to Eclipse TPS. The beam angles for IMPT plan are selected based on the preferred angles in the VMAT plan. IMPT plan is designed by importing the plan objectives generated from VMAT plan. Majority thoracic IMPT plans are designed using this plan approach in our center. In this work, a thoracic IMPT plan under RTOG 1308 protocol is selected to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of this approach. The dosimetric indices of IMPT are compared with VMAT plan. Results: The PTV D95, lung V20, MLD, mean heart dose, esophagus D1, cord D1 are 70Gy, 31%, 17.8Gy, 25.5Gy, 73Gy, 45Gy for IMPT plan and 65.3Gy, 34%, 21.6Gy, 35Gy, 74Gy, 48Gy for VMAT plan. For majority cases, the high dose region of the normal tissue which is in proximity of PTV is comparable between IMPT and VMAT plan. The low dose region of the IMPT plan is significantly better than VMAT plan. Conclusion: Using the knowledge gained in VMAT plan design can help efficiently and effectively design high quality IMPT plan. The quality of IMPT plan can be controlled to ensure the superiority of IMPT plan compared to VMAT/IMRT plan

  7. Consequences of using different soil texture determination methodologies for soil physical quality and unsaturated zone time lag estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, O; Vero, S; Ibrahim, T G; Murphy, P N C; Sherriff, S C; Ó hUallacháin, D

    2015-11-01

    Elucidation of when the loss of pollutants, below the rooting zone in agricultural landscapes, affects water quality is important when assessing the efficacy of mitigation measures. Investigation of this inherent time lag (t(T)) is divided into unsaturated (t(u)) and saturated (t(s)) components. The duration of these components relative to each other differs depending on soil characteristics and the landscape position. The present field study focuses on tu estimation in a scenario where the saturated zone is likely to constitute a higher proportion of t(T). In such instances, or where only initial breakthrough (IBT) or centre of mass (COM) is of interest, utilisation of site and depth specific "simple" textural class or actual sand-silt-clay percentages to generate soil water characteristic curves with associated soil hydraulic parameters is acceptable. With the same data it is also possible to estimate a soil physical quality (S) parameter for each soil layer which can be used to infer many other physical, chemical and biological quality indicators. In this study, hand texturing in the field was used to determine textural classes of a soil profile. Laboratory methods, including hydrometer, pipette and laser diffraction methods were used to determine actual sand-silt-clay percentages of sections of the same soil profile. Results showed that in terms of S, hand texturing resulted in a lower index value (inferring a degraded soil) than that of pipette, hydrometer and laser equivalents. There was no difference between S index values determined using the pipette, hydrometer and laser diffraction methods. The difference between the three laboratory methods on both the IBT and COM stages of t(u) were negligible, and in this instance were unlikely to affect either groundwater monitoring decisions, or to be of consequence from a policy perspective. When t(u) estimates are made over the full depth of the vadose zone, which may extend to several metres, errors resulting from

  8. Consequences of using different soil texture determination methodologies for soil physical quality and unsaturated zone time lag estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, O.; Vero, S.; Ibrahim, T. G.; Murphy, P. N. C.; Sherriff, S. C.; Ó hUallacháin, D.

    2015-11-01

    Elucidation of when the loss of pollutants, below the rooting zone in agricultural landscapes, affects water quality is important when assessing the efficacy of mitigation measures. Investigation of this inherent time lag (tT) is divided into unsaturated (tu) and saturated (ts) components. The duration of these components relative to each other differs depending on soil characteristics and the landscape position. The present field study focuses on tu estimation in a scenario where the saturated zone is likely to constitute a higher proportion of tT. In such instances, or where only initial breakthrough (IBT) or centre of mass (COM) is of interest, utilisation of site and depth specific "simple" textural class or actual sand-silt-clay percentages to generate soil water characteristic curves with associated soil hydraulic parameters is acceptable. With the same data it is also possible to estimate a soil physical quality (S) parameter for each soil layer which can be used to infer many other physical, chemical and biological quality indicators. In this study, hand texturing in the field was used to determine textural classes of a soil profile. Laboratory methods, including hydrometer, pipette and laser diffraction methods were used to determine actual sand-silt-clay percentages of sections of the same soil profile. Results showed that in terms of S, hand texturing resulted in a lower index value (inferring a degraded soil) than that of pipette, hydrometer and laser equivalents. There was no difference between S index values determined using the pipette, hydrometer and laser diffraction methods. The difference between the three laboratory methods on both the IBT and COM stages of tu were negligible, and in this instance were unlikely to affect either groundwater monitoring decisions, or to be of consequence from a policy perspective. When tu estimates are made over the full depth of the vadose zone, which may extend to several metres, errors resulting from the use of

  9. Study of methodologies for quality control of 99Mo used in 99Mo/99mTc generators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Said, Daphne de Souza

    2016-01-01

    99m Tc is the most used radionuclide in nuclear medicine. In Brazil, the 99 Mo/ 99m Tc generators are exclusively produced by Radiopharmacy Center at IPEN-CNEN/ SP, by importing 99 Mo from different suppliers. 99 Mo (t 1/2 = 66 h) is a fission product of 235 U and it can have radionuclidic impurities that are prejudicial for human health. For safe use of generators, it is necessary to perform the evaluation of 99 Mo by quality control tests in order to assess if 99 Mo complies with the specifications. The European Pharmacopoeia (EP) presents a monograph for evaluation of the quality of the [ 99 Mo] solution as sodium molybdate,that is used as raw material for 99 Mo/ 99m Tc generators production, including specification parameters (identification, radiochemical purity and radionuclidic purity), analysis methods and limits. However, it has been observed difficulties on the execution and implementation of these methods by the generators producers, with a few literature about this subject, probably due to complexity of the proposed methods. In this work, many quality control parameters of 99 Mo described in the EP monograph were evaluated. Separation methods for 99M o from its radionuclidic impurities by solid phase extraction (SPE) and TLC were studied. After SPE separation, the quantification of metals by ICP-OES to evaluate the percentage of retention of Mo and the percentage of recovery of Ru, Te and Sr using different types of cartridges were proposed, replacing radiotracers use. It was observed that the specific type of SPE cartridge recommended by the EP for separation of 99 Mo presented low recoveries for Ru, compared to other available anion exchange SPE cartridges. 99 Mo samples from different worldwide suppliers were analyzed. It was observed that quantification of 103 Ru in 99 Mo samples with decay time higher than 4 weeks is possible. An alternative method for separation of 131 I from 99 Mo showed promising results by TLC. The quantification of beta and

  10. “The 3/3 Strategy”: A Successful Multifaceted Hospital Wide Hand Hygiene Intervention Based on WHO and Continuous Quality Improvement Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, Gabriel; Berbel, Cristina; Tortajada, Purificación; Alarcia, Margarita; Coca, Roser; Gallemi, Gema; Garcia, Irene; Fernández, Mari Mar; Aguilar, Mari Carmen; Martínez, José Antonio; Rodríguez-Baño, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Background Only multifaceted hospital wide interventions have been successful in achieving sustained improvements in hand hygiene (HH) compliance. Methodology/Principal Findings Pre-post intervention study of HH performance at baseline (October 2007– December 2009) and during intervention, which included two phases. Phase 1 (2010) included multimodal WHO approach. Phase 2 (2011) added Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) tools and was based on: a) Increase of alcohol hand rub (AHR) solution placement (from 0.57 dispensers/bed to 1.56); b) Increase in frequency of audits (three days every three weeks: “3/3 strategy”); c) Implementation of a standardized register form of HH corrective actions; d) Statistical Process Control (SPC) as time series analysis methodology through appropriate control charts. During the intervention period we performed 819 scheduled direct observation audits which provided data from 11,714 HH opportunities. The most remarkable findings were: a) significant improvements in HH compliance with respect to baseline (25% mean increase); b) sustained high level (82%) of HH compliance during intervention; c) significant increase in AHRs consumption over time; c) significant decrease in the rate of healthcare-acquired MRSA; d) small but significant improvements in HH compliance when comparing phase 2 to phase 1 [79.5% (95% CI: 78.2–80.7) vs 84.6% (95% CI:83.8–85.4), phygiene day”; and “negative”:73.7% as lowest HH compliance coinciding with a statutory lay-off proceeding). Conclusions/Significance CQI tools may be a key addition to WHO strategy to maintain a good HH performance over time. In addition, SPC has shown to be a powerful methodology to detect special causes in HH performance (positive and negative) and to help establishing adequate feedback to healthcare workers. PMID:23110061

  11. Designing a Score-Based Method for the Evaluation of the Nutritional Quality of the Gluten-Free Bakery Products and their Gluten-Containing Counterparts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morreale, Federico; Angelino, Donato; Pellegrini, Nicoletta

    2018-01-01

    Gluten-free (GF) products are consumed both by individuals with celiac disease and by an increasing number of people with no specific medical needs. Although the technological quality of GF products has been recently improved, their nutritional quality is still scarcely addressed. Moreover, the few

  12. Higher-Order Factor Analysis as a Score Validity Evaluation Tool: An Example with a Measure of Perceptions of Library Service Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Colleen; Thompson, Bruce

    The SERVQUAL measure was developed by A. Parasuraman, L. Berry, and V. Zeithaml (1988) to measure perceptions of service quality, originally in the retailing sector. However, libraries and other educational institutions are also service providers. Librarians in particular have increasingly become interested in measuring quality of service as the…

  13. Using existing questionnaires in latent class analysis: should we use summary scores or single items as input? A methodological study using a cohort of patients with low back pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nielsen AM

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Anne Molgaard Nielsen,1 Werner Vach,2 Peter Kent,1,3 Lise Hestbaek,1,4 Alice Kongsted1,4 1Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; 2Center for Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany; 3School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Australia; 4Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark Background: Latent class analysis (LCA is increasingly being used in health research, but optimal approaches to handling complex clinical data are unclear. One issue is that commonly used questionnaires are multidimensional, but expressed as summary scores. Using the example of low back pain (LBP, the aim of this study was to explore and descriptively compare the application of LCA when using questionnaire summary scores and when using single items to subgrouping of patients based on multidimensional data. Materials and methods: Baseline data from 928 LBP patients in an observational study were classified into four health domains (psychology, pain, activity, and participation using the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework. LCA was performed within each health domain using the strategies of summary-score and single-item analyses. The resulting subgroups were descriptively compared using statistical measures and clinical interpretability. Results: For each health domain, the preferred model solution ranged from five to seven subgroups for the summary-score strategy and seven to eight subgroups for the single-item strategy. There was considerable overlap between the results of the two strategies, indicating that they were reflecting the same underlying data structure. However, in three of the four health domains, the single-item strategy resulted in a more nuanced description, in terms

  14. Testing the validity of a translated pharmaceutical therapy-related quality of life instrument, using qualitative 'think aloud' methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renberg, T; Kettis Lindblad, A; Tully, M P

    2008-06-01

    In pharmacy practice, there is a need for valid and reliable instruments to study patient-reported outcomes. One potential candidate is a pharmaceutical therapy-related quality of life (PTRQoL) instrument. This study explored the face and content validity, including cognitive aspects of question answering of a PTRQoL instrument, translated from English to Swedish. A sample of 16 customers at Swedish community pharmacies, was asked to fill in the PTRQoL instrument while constantly reporting how they reasoned. The resulting interviews and concurrent probing, were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed using constant comparison method. The relation between the measurement and its theoretical underpinning was challenged. Respondents neglected to read the instructions, used response options in an unpredictable way, and varied in their interpretations of the items. The combination of 'think-aloud', retrospective probing and qualitative analysis informed on the validity of the PTRQoL instrument and was valuable in questionnaire development. The study also identified specific problems that could be relevant for other instruments probing patients' medicines-related attitudes and behaviour.

  15. Comparing the use and interpretation of PGMI scoring to assess the technical quality of screening mammograms in the UK and Norway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyce, M.; Gullien, R.; Parashar, D.; Taylor, K.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: To compare PGMI systems used in the UK and Norway, determine levels of agreement in its interpretation for radiographers within and between centres, informing further research towards developing a more quantitative, uniform system. Methods: Mammograms from 112 women consecutively screened in the UK and Norway were anonymised, numbered and enriched to include all four PGMI categories. Cases were scored by five mammographers from each centre using local PGMI. Sets were exchanged and the process repeated. Distribution of categories was recorded and faults documented for images scored less than perfect. These were compared within and between centres and agreement analysed using non-weighted kappa statistic. Results: Norway uses 38 assessment criteria, the UK uses 15. Best agreement was between Norway raters scoring MLO views from both UK(RMLO k = 0.57, LMLO k = 0.490) and Norway (RMLO k = 0.48, LMLO k = 0.470). Least agreement was between UK raters scoring CC views from both UK(RCC k = 0.007, LCC k = 0.01) and Norway(RCC k = −0.04, LCC k = −0.003). There were no other apparent trends in inter-rater assessment. Most frequent faults in both test sets were on MLO views. Two out of three most common faults were the same for UK and Norway raters. Conclusions: Use of PGMI varied between centres in both number and interpretation of criteria employed. We identified the most common mammographic faults highlighting possible training needs. We suggest further work to provide a consensus list of visual criteria with accurate descriptors for each classification category. A validated way of applying them could help to standardise the process. - Highlights: • No previous published work comparing PGMI use between different countries. • Variation in number of assessment criteria used and their interpretation. • Best agreement was Norway scoring MLO views from both centres-moderate. • Least agreement was UK raters scoring CC views from both

  16. Update on the Methodological Quality of Research Published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine: Comparing 2011-2013 to 10 and 20 Years Prior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brophy, Robert H; Kluck, Dylan; Marx, Robert G

    2016-05-01

    In recent years, the number of articles in The American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM) has risen dramatically, with an increasing emphasis on evidence-based medicine in orthopaedics and sports medicine. Despite the increase in the number of articles published in AJSM over the past decade, the methodological quality of articles in 2011-2013 has improved relative to those in 2001-2003 and 1991-1993. Meta-analysis. All articles published in AJSM during 2011-2013 were reviewed and classified by study design. For each article, the use of pertinent methodologies, such as prospective data collection, randomization, control groups, and blinding, was recorded. The frequency of each article type and the use of evidence-based techniques were compared relative to 1991-1993 and 2001-2003 by use of Pearson χ(2) testing. The number of research articles published in AJSM more than doubled from 402 in 1991-1993 and 423 in 2001-2003 to 953 in 2011-2013. Case reports decreased from 15.2% to 10.6% to 2.1% of articles published over the study period (P < .001). Cadaveric/human studies and meta-analysis/literature review studies increased from 5.7% to 7.1% to 12.4% (P < .001) and from 0.2% to 0.9% to 2.3% (P = .01), respectively. Randomized, prospective clinical trials increased from 2.7% to 5.9% to 7.4% (P = .007). Fewer studies used retrospective compared with prospective data collection (P < .001). More studies tested an explicit hypothesis (P < .001) and used controls (P < .001), randomization (P < .001), and blinding of those assessing outcomes (P < .001). Multi-investigator trials increased (P < .001), as did the proportion of articles citing a funding source (P < .001). Despite a dramatic increase in the number of published articles, the research published in AJSM shifted toward more prospective, randomized, controlled, and blinded designs during 2011-2013 compared with 2001-2003 and 1991-1993, demonstrating a continued improvement in methodological quality. © 2015 The

  17. A flood tide of systematic reviews on endodontic posts: methodological assessment using of R-AMSTAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitter, M; Sterzenbach, G; Faggion, C M; Krastl, G

    2013-06-01

    To help the dental practitioner solve a specific clinical problem, systematic reviews (SRs) are seen as the best guide. In addition to the unmanageable quantity of SRs, however, one should be aware of their variable quality. The present review describes the methodological quality of SRs on postendodontic restorations to work out the value of these reviews for the dental practitioner. SRs were searched in April 2012, independently and in triplicate. Post survival was used as measure of outcome. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed with the Revised Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (R-AMSTAR) checklist. Kappa statistics were used to assess reviewer agreement. Three hundred sixty-three papers were retrieved from the initial search. Ten SRs were included. One SR achieved a high R-AMSTAR score, whereas the other nine SRs achieved scores that indicate a substantial lack of methodological quality. Especially the items "grey literature," "combination of findings," "likelihood of publication bias," and conflict of interest" showed low R-AMSTAR scores. The three reviews with the highest R-AMSTAR scores tended to conclude that fewer failures occurred when using nonmetal posts. The reviewer agreement was excellent (kappa ranged from 0.79 to 0.85) in the R-AMSTAR classification. The approach presented revealed a lack of SRs with high methodological quality. Thus, no decisive conclusion can be drawn with respect to this topic. It appears that there is a trend for the superiority of fiber-reinforced posts. SRs must be of high methodological quality. This can be achieved by taking into consideration the results of this review. Improved methodological quality would make SRs more supportive for the general practitioner.

  18. Archetype modeling methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moner, David; Maldonado, José Alberto; Robles, Montserrat

    2018-03-01

    Clinical Information Models (CIMs) expressed as archetypes play an essential role in the design and development of current Electronic Health Record (EHR) information structures. Although there exist many experiences about using archetypes in the literature, a comprehensive and formal methodology for archetype modeling does not exist. Having a modeling methodology is essential to develop quality archetypes, in order to guide the development of EHR systems and to allow the semantic interoperability of health data. In this work, an archetype modeling methodology is proposed. This paper describes its phases, the inputs and outputs of each phase, and the involved participants and tools. It also includes the description of the possible strategies to organize the modeling process. The proposed methodology is inspired by existing best practices of CIMs, software and ontology development. The methodology has been applied and evaluated in regional and national EHR projects. The application of the methodology provided useful feedback and improvements, and confirmed its advantages. The conclusion of this work is that having a formal methodology for archetype development facilitates the definition and adoption of interoperable archetypes, improves their quality, and facilitates their reuse among different information systems and EHR projects. Moreover, the proposed methodology can be also a reference for CIMs development using any other formalism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Assessing the service quality in Software-as-a-Service from the customers’ perspective: a methodological approach and case of use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Luís Policani Freitas

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite the advances in the evaluation of the quality of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS, new studies seem to be necessary, since the existing criticisms concerning the SERVQUAL scale and the lack of studies concerning the use of SERVPERF for this purpose. This work aims to fulfil this gap by proposing a methodological approach to assess the SaaS service quality by measuring SaaS customers’ satisfaction. Factor analysis is used to summarize the information contained in the original items into a smaller set of new dimensions and Quartile analysis is suggested to determine the most critical items. By conducting a study, the factors that most influence customer’s satisfaction are customer service, customer assistance and the reliability of SaaS. Most of the critical items are associated with the transparency and accuracy in correcting errors, the company's interest in solving customer problems, SaaS application's ability to meet business requirements, implemented updates and regularity of service performance.

  20. The Theoretical, Methodological, and Practical Background for Looking at International Students' Learning Styles, Backgrounds, and Quality Perceptions with Regard to ASB's Three English-Language M.Sc. Programs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skaates, Maria Anne

    This paper looking at the methodological background for a questionnaire study of student perceptions with regard to own learning styles and backgrounds as well as the quality of education in Aarhus School of Business' 3 English-language M.Sc. programs (FIB, EU, and BPM). Theories and models about...... the internationalization of business schools, service quality, and student learning styles are discussed in the paper, as is the statistic methodology for treating the questionnaire responses of the respondents.......This paper looking at the methodological background for a questionnaire study of student perceptions with regard to own learning styles and backgrounds as well as the quality of education in Aarhus School of Business' 3 English-language M.Sc. programs (FIB, EU, and BPM). Theories and models about...

  1. Diet quality as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension score, and health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwingshackl, Lukas; Hoffmann, Georg

    2015-05-01

    Dietary patterns consider synergistic effects compared with isolated foods or nutrients on health outcomes. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the associations of diet quality as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality or incidence, cancer mortality or incidence, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and neurodegenerative diseases. A literature search was performed using the electronic databases MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and EMBASE with an end date of May 10, 2014. Study-specific risk ratios were pooled using a random effect model by the Cochrane software package Review Manager 5.2. Fifteen cohort studies (34 reports), including 1,020,642 subjects, met the criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Diets of the highest quality, as assessed by the HEI, AHEI, and DASH score, resulted in a significant risk reduction (RR) for all-cause mortality (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.76 to 0.80; PDiets that score highly on the HEI, AHEI, and DASH are associated with a significant reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes mellitus by 22%, 22%, 15%, and 22%, respectively, and therefore is of high public health relevance. Copyright © 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Systematic review of the QoR-15 score, a patient- reported outcome measure measuring quality of recovery after surgery and anaesthesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kleif, J; Waage, J; Christensen, K B

    2018-01-01

    patients undergoing a variety of surgical elective procedures. The QoR-15 was validated in English, Danish, Chinese, and Portuguese. High-quality evidence for good content validity, good internal consistency (Cronbach's α of 0.836), and essential unidimensionality of the QoR-15 as a measurement...

  3. Allegheny County Walk Scores

    Data.gov (United States)

    Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh / Western PA Regional Data Center — Walk Score measures the walkability of any address using a patented system developed by the Walk Score company. For each 2010 Census Tract centroid, Walk Score...

  4. D-score: a search engine independent MD-score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaudel, Marc; Breiter, Daniela; Beck, Florian; Rahnenführer, Jörg; Martens, Lennart; Zahedi, René P

    2013-03-01

    While peptides carrying PTMs are routinely identified in gel-free MS, the localization of the PTMs onto the peptide sequences remains challenging. Search engine scores of secondary peptide matches have been used in different approaches in order to infer the quality of site inference, by penalizing the localization whenever the search engine similarly scored two candidate peptides with different site assignments. In the present work, we show how the estimation of posterior error probabilities for peptide candidates allows the estimation of a PTM score called the D-score, for multiple search engine studies. We demonstrate the applicability of this score to three popular search engines: Mascot, OMSSA, and X!Tandem, and evaluate its performance using an already published high resolution data set of synthetic phosphopeptides. For those peptides with phosphorylation site inference uncertainty, the number of spectrum matches with correctly localized phosphorylation increased by up to 25.7% when compared to using Mascot alone, although the actual increase depended on the fragmentation method used. Since this method relies only on search engine scores, it can be readily applied to the scoring of the localization of virtually any modification at no additional experimental or in silico cost. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Collins, N J; Prinsen, C A C; Christensen, R

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize evidence regarding measurement properties of the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). DESIGN: A comprehensive literature search identified 37 eligible papers evaluating KOOS measurement properties in partici......OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize evidence regarding measurement properties of the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). DESIGN: A comprehensive literature search identified 37 eligible papers evaluating KOOS measurement properties...... in participants with knee injuries and/or osteoarthritis (OA). Methodological quality was evaluated using the COSMIN checklist. Where possible, meta-analysis of extracted data was conducted for all studies and stratified by age and knee condition; otherwise narrative synthesis was performed. RESULTS: KOOS has...... adequate internal consistency, test-retest reliability and construct validity in young and old adults with knee injuries and/or OA. The ADL subscale has better content validity for older patients and Sport/Rec for younger patients with knee injuries, while the Pain subscale is more relevant for painful...

  6. A multi-methodological approach to study the temporal and spatial distribution of air quality related to road transport emissions in Madrid, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Pedro; Miranda, Regina

    2013-04-01

    emission inventory, together with the mobile source's parameters and the disaggregated transport activity data. The paper will also identify emission and concentration differences and gradients of certain magnitude/factor (e.g. comparison between estimated ATPs hourly concentrations in Madrid City Center and in the peripheries). Furthermore, because of the higher contribution of road mobile sources to GHGs and ATPs emissions in Madrid, small gradients between urban highways and residential areas will be expected. Second, the paper objectives are to develop valid methods and approaches to measure air quality and to develop valid road transport emission inventories to assess correlations between external costs, epidemiology and emissions in order to reveal how traffic pollution affects people exposure to key contaminants and disease development, and identify susceptible emission scenarios and health impacts. We have conducted general emission inventory studies providing preliminary evidence of regional road transport air pollution impacts on external cost growth and disease development. Third, we also aim to demonstrate short and long-term impacts of road transport emissions on external costs development using innovative multi-methodological methods interfaced with environmental chemistry and meteorology following meteorological and chemical fields with contrasting high/low traffic emissions in several linked components involving: air pollutant assessment using local measurements, height of the boundary layer, meteorological environment interactions on external costs and epidemiology, mapping of Madrid (identifying gradients of emissions), integrative causal modeling using statistical models, and trend and scenario analyses on external costs and impacts on human health. Meteorological and chemical fields will be obtained from local records collected by surface meteorological and air quality stations. These two sets of fields define the horizontal and vertical profiles of

  7. The COSMIN checklist for assessing the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties of health status measurement instruments: an international Delphi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokkink, Lidwine B; Terwee, Caroline B; Patrick, Donald L; Alonso, Jordi; Stratford, Paul W; Knol, Dirk L; Bouter, Lex M; de Vet, Henrica C W

    2010-05-01

    Aim of the COSMIN study (COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement INstruments) was to develop a consensus-based checklist to evaluate the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties. We present the COSMIN checklist and the agreement of the panel on the items of the checklist. A four-round Delphi study was performed with international experts (psychologists, epidemiologists, statisticians and clinicians). Of the 91 invited experts, 57 agreed to participate (63%). Panel members were asked to rate their (dis)agreement with each proposal on a five-point scale. Consensus was considered to be reached when at least 67% of the panel members indicated 'agree' or 'strongly agree'. Consensus was reached on the inclusion of the following measurement properties: internal consistency, reliability, measurement error, content validity (including face validity), construct validity (including structural validity, hypotheses testing and cross-cultural validity), criterion validity, responsiveness, and interpretability. The latter was not considered a measurement property. The panel also reached consensus on how these properties should be assessed. The resulting COSMIN checklist could be useful when selecting a measurement instrument, peer-reviewing a manuscript, designing or reporting a study on measurement properties, or for educational purposes.

  8. Importance of methodology on (99m)technetium dimercapto-succinic acid scintigraphic image quality: imaging pilot study for RIVUR (Randomized Intervention for Children With Vesicoureteral Reflux) multicenter investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziessman, Harvey A; Majd, Massoud

    2009-07-01

    We reviewed our experience with (99m)technetium dimercapto-succinic acid scintigraphy obtained during an imaging pilot study for a multicenter investigation (Randomized Intervention for Children With Vesicoureteral Reflux) of the effectiveness of daily antimicrobial prophylaxis for preventing recurrent urinary tract infection and renal scarring. We analyzed imaging methodology and its relation to diagnostic image quality. (99m)Technetium dimercapto-succinic acid imaging guidelines were provided to participating sites. High-resolution planar imaging with parallel hole or pinhole collimation was required. Two core reviewers evaluated all submitted images. Analysis included appropriate views, presence or lack of patient motion, adequate magnification, sufficient counts and diagnostic image quality. Inter-reader agreement was evaluated. We evaluated 70, (99m)technetium dimercapto-succinic acid studies from 14 institutions. Variability was noted in methodology and image quality. Correlation (r value) between dose administered and patient age was 0.780. For parallel hole collimator imaging good correlation was noted between activity administered and counts (r = 0.800). For pinhole imaging the correlation was poor (r = 0.110). A total of 10 studies (17%) were rejected for quality issues of motion, kidney overlap, inadequate magnification, inadequate counts and poor quality images. The submitting institution was informed and provided with recommendations for improving quality, and resubmission of another study was required. Only 4 studies (6%) were judged differently by the 2 reviewers, and the differences were minor. Methodology and image quality for (99m)technetium dimercapto-succinic acid scintigraphy varied more than expected between institutions. The most common reason for poor image quality was inadequate count acquisition with insufficient attention to the tradeoff between administered dose, length of image acquisition, start time of imaging and resulting image

  9. A comparison between the first-fit settings of two multichannel digital signal-processing strategies: music quality ratings and speech-in-noise scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Paul; Searchfield, Grant; Coad, Gavin

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine which level-dependent hearing aid digital signal-processing strategy (DSP) participants preferred when listening to music and/or performing a speech-in-noise task. Two receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids were compared: one using 32-channel adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) and the other wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) incorporating dual fast (4 channel) and slow (15 channel) processing. The manufacturers' first-fit settings based on participants' audiograms were used in both cases. Results were obtained from 18 participants on a quick speech-in-noise (QuickSIN; Killion, Niquette, Gudmundsen, Revit, & Banerjee, 2004) task and for 3 music listening conditions (classical, jazz, and rock). Participants preferred the quality of music and performed better at the QuickSIN task using the hearing aids with ADRO processing. A potential reason for the better performance of the ADRO hearing aids was less fluctuation in output with change in sound dynamics. ADRO processing has advantages for both music quality and speech recognition in noise over the multichannel WDRC processing that was used in the study. Further evaluations of which DSP aspects contribute to listener preference are required.

  10. Metodologias de controle de qualidade de análises granulométricas do solo Methodologies for quality control of soil particle size analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vilson Antonio Klein

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available A qualidade da análise granulométrica é imprescindível para a adequada classificação textural dos solos e enquadramento no Zoneamento Agroclimático. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar metodologias de controle de qualidade das análises granulométricas. Foram coletadas amostras de solos com diferentes texturas, as quais foram analisadas por cinco laboratórios. O controle da qualidade foi realizado utilizando duas metodologias, uma proposta pelo Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC e a outra pela Rede Oficial de Laboratórios de Análise de Solo e de Tecido Vegetal dos Estados do RS e SC (ROLAS. Verificou-se maior número de inconformidades para as frações argila e silte, independentemente do método, sendo que o método da ROLAS apresentou maior número de inconformidades (76% das amostras, principalmente para amostras com teores mais elevados dessas frações. A metodologia da ROLAS com utilização da mediana é mais rigorosa no controle da qualidade das análises.The quality of particle size analysis is essential for correct soil textural classification and defining the Brazilian Agroclimatic Zoning. The objectives were to evaluate methods of particle size analysis and develop a spreadsheet for use in quality control analyzes. We collected 50 soil samples with different particle size distribution, in RS and SC states of Brazil, which were analyzed by five laboratories in the two states that perform the soil particle size analysis using two methods: one proposed by the Campinas Agronomic Institute (IAC and the other by the Network of Soil and Plant Tissue Analysis Laboratories of the states of RS and SC (ROLAS. A greater number of disparities were observed for the clay and sand fractions regardless of the method. The ROLAS method had a higher number of mismatches (76% of samples, especially for samples with higher contents of those two fractions. The use of the median value in the ROLAS methodology is more rigorous in analysis

  11. Quality of systematic reviews in pediatric oncology--a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundh, Andreas; Knijnenburg, Sebastiaan L; Jørgensen, Anders W; van Dalen, Elvira C; Kremer, Leontien C M

    2009-12-01

    To ensure evidence-based decision making in pediatric oncology systematic reviews are necessary. The objective of our study was to evaluate the methodological quality of all currently existing systematic reviews in pediatric oncology. We identified eligible systematic reviews through a systematic search of the literature. Data on clinical and methodological characteristics of the included systematic reviews were extracted. The methodological quality of the included systematic reviews was assessed using the overview quality assessment questionnaire, a validated 10-item quality assessment tool. We compared the methodological quality of systematic reviews published in regular journals with that of Cochrane systematic reviews. We included 117 systematic reviews, 99 systematic reviews published in regular journals and 18 Cochrane systematic reviews. The average methodological quality of systematic reviews was low for all ten items, but the quality of Cochrane systematic reviews was significantly higher than systematic reviews published in regular journals. On a 1-7 scale, the median overall quality score for all systematic reviews was 2 (range 1-7), with a score of 1 (range 1-7) for systematic reviews in regular journals compared to 6 (range 3-7) in Cochrane systematic reviews (pmethodological flaws leading to a high risk of bias. While Cochrane systematic reviews were of higher methodological quality than systematic reviews in regular journals, some of them also had methodological problems. Therefore, the methodology of each individual systematic review should be scrutinized before accepting its results.

  12. Analysis of the penumbra enlargement in lung versus the Quality Index of photon beams: A methodology to check the dose calculation algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsiakalos, Miltiadis F.; Theodorou, Kiki; Kappas, Constantin; Zefkili, Sofia; Rosenwold, Jean-Claude

    2004-01-01

    It is well known that considerable underdosage can occur at the edges of a tumor inside the lung because of the degradation of penumbra due to lack of lateral electronic equilibrium. Although present even at smaller energies, this phenomenon is more pronounced for higher energies. Apart from Monte Carlo calculation, most of the existing Treatment Planning Systems (TPSs) cannot deal at all, or with acceptable accuracy, with this effect. A methodology has been developed for assessing the dose calculation algorithms in the lung region where lateral electronic disequilibrium exists, based on the Quality Index (QI) of the incident beam. A phantom, consisting of layers of polystyrene and lung material, has been irradiated using photon beams of 4, 6, 15, and 20 MV. The cross-plane profiles of each beam for 5x5, 10x10, and 25x10 fields have been measured at the middle of the phantom with the use of films. The penumbra (20%-80%) and fringe (50%-90%) enlargement was measured and the ratio of the widths for the lung to that of polystyrene was defined as the Correction Factor (CF). Monte Carlo calculations in the two phantoms have also been performed for energies of 6, 15, and 20 MV. Five commercial TPS's algorithms were tested for their ability to predict the penumbra and fringe enlargement. A linear relationship has been found between the QI of the beams and the CF of the penumbra and fringe enlargement for all the examined fields. Monte Carlo calculations agree very well (less than 1% difference) with the film measurements. The CF values range between 1.1 for 4 MV (QI 0.620) and 2.28 for 20 MV (QI 0.794). Three of the tested TPS's algorithms could not predict any enlargement at all for all energies and all fields and two of them could predict the penumbra enlargement to some extent. The proposed methodology can help any user or developer to check the accuracy of its algorithm for lung cases, based on a simple phantom geometry and the QI of the incident beam. This check is

  13. Complicating Methodological Transparency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges-Rhoads, Sarah; Van Cleave, Jessica; Hughes, Hilary E.

    2016-01-01

    A historical indicator of the quality, validity, and rigor of qualitative research has been the documentation and disclosure of the behind-the-scenes work of the researcher. In this paper, we use what we call "methodological data" as a tool to complicate the possibility and desirability of such transparency. Specifically, we draw on our…

  14. The relationship between a black economic empowerment score ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    kirstam

    company's BEE score/rating and shareholder returns, using an event study methodology and a ... the form of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, no. 53 of 2003 .... asset pricing model). Although more ... portfolios of companies with a specific BEE score, a buy-and-hold or 'style' investment methodology was ...

  15. Among 4 Diet Quality Indexes, Only the Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score Is Associated with Better Colorectal Cancer Survival and Only in African American Women in the Multiethnic Cohort123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Simone; Harmon, Brook E; Ollberding, Nicholas J; Wilkens, Lynne R; Monroe, Kristine R; Kolonel, Laurence N; Le Marchand, Loic; Boushey, Carol J; Maskarinec, Gertraud

    2016-01-01

    Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, with a 5-y survival rate of ∼65%. Therefore, the identification of modifiable health factors to improve CRC survival is crucial. Objective: We investigated the association of 4 prediagnostic a priori diet quality indexes with CRC-specific and all-cause mortality in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC). Methods: The MEC included >215,000 African-American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese-American, Latino, and white adults living in Hawaii and California who completed a validated quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1993–1996. CRC cases and deaths were identified through linkages to cancer registries and to state and national vital registries. Sex-specific HRs and 95% CIs were estimated for the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010, the Alternative HEI (AHEI) 2010, the alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED) score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index with CRC-specific and overall mortality as the primary outcomes. Ethnicity-specific analyses were the secondary outcomes. Results: Among 4204 MEC participants diagnosed with invasive CRC through 2010, 1976 all-cause and 1095 CRC-specific deaths were identified. A higher aMED score was associated with lower CRC-specific mortality in women [HR continuous pattern score divided by its respective SD (HR1SD): 0.86; 95% CI: 0.77, 0.96] but not in men (HR1SD: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.11). A higher aMED score was also associated with lower all-cause mortality in women (HR1SD: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.96) but not in men (HR1SD: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.93, 1.07). The HEI-2010, AHEI-2010, and DASH index were not significantly associated with CRC-specific or with all-cause mortality. The inverse relation for the aMED score was limited to African Americans and to colon (compared with rectal) cancer. Conclusions: The aMED score was related to lower mortality only in African-American women (1 of 5 ethnic groups studied). The

  16. Quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burnett, N.; Jeffries, J.; Mach, J.; Robson, M.; Pajot, D.; Harrigan, J.; Lebsack, T.; Mullen, D.; Rat, F.; Theys, P.

    1993-01-01

    What is quality? How do you achieve it? How do you keep it once you have got it. The answer for industry at large is the three-step hierarchy of quality control, quality assurance and Total quality Management. An overview is given of the history of quality movement, illustrated with examples from Schlumberger operations, as well as the oil industry's approach to quality. An introduction of the Schlumberger's quality-associated ClientLink program is presented. 15 figs., 4 ills., 16 refs

  17. Reference bias: presentation of extreme health states prior to eq-vas improves health-related quality of life scores. a randomised cross-over trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McPhail Steven

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical practice and clinical research has made a concerted effort to move beyond the use of clinical indicators alone and embrace patient focused care through the use of patient reported outcomes such as health-related quality of life. However, unless patients give consistent consideration to the health states that give meaning to measurement scales used to evaluate these constructs, longitudinal comparison of these measures may be invalid. This study aimed to investigate whether patients give consideration to a standard health state rating scale (EQ-VAS and whether consideration of good and poor health state descriptors immediately changes their self-report. Methods A randomised crossover trial was implemented amongst hospitalised older adults (n = 151. Patients were asked to consider descriptions of extremely good (Description-A and poor (Description-B health states. The EQ-VAS was administered as a self-report at baseline, after the first descriptors (A or B, then again after the remaining descriptors (B or A respectively. At baseline patients were also asked if they had considered either EQ-VAS anchors. Results Overall 106/151 (70% participants changed their self-evaluation by ≥5 points on the 100 point VAS, with a mean (SD change of +4.5 (12 points (p Conclusions Health state self-reports may not be well considered. An immediate significant shift in response can be elicited by exposure to a mere description of an extreme health state despite no actual change in underlying health state occurring. Caution should be exercised in research and clinical settings when interpreting subjective patient reported outcomes that are dependent on brief anchors for meaning. Trial Registration Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (#ACTRN12607000606482 http://www.anzctr.org.au

  18. Impact of the occurrence of a response shift on the determination of the minimal important difference in a health-related quality of life score over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ousmen, Ahmad; Conroy, Thierry; Guillemin, Francis; Velten, Michel; Jolly, Damien; Mercier, Mariette; Causeret, Sylvain; Cuisenier, Jean; Graesslin, Olivier; Hamidou, Zeinab; Bonnetain, Franck; Anota, Amélie

    2016-12-03

    An important challenge of the longitudinal analysis of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is the potential occurrence of a Response Shift (RS) effect. While the impact of RS effect on the longitudinal analysis of HRQOL has already been studied, few studies have been conducted on its impact on the determination of the Minimal Important Difference (MID). This study aims to investigate the impact of the RS effect on the determination of the MID over time for each scale of both EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 questionnaires in breast cancer patients. Patients with breast cancer completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the EORTC QLQ-BR23 questionnaires at baseline (time of diagnosis; T0), three months (T1) and six months after surgery (T2). Four hospitals and care centers participated in this study: cancer centers of Dijon and Nancy, the university hospitals of Reims and Strasbourg At T1 and T2, patients were asked to evaluate their HRQOL change during the last 3 months using the Jaeschke transition question. They were also asked to assess retrospectively their HRQOL level of three months ago. The occurrence of the RS effect was explored using the then-test method and its impact on the determination of the MID by using the Anchor-based method. Between February 2006 and February 2008, 381 patients were included of mean age 58 years old (SD = 11). For patients who reported a deterioration of their HRQOL level at each follow-up, an increase of RS effect has been detected between T1 and T2 in 13/15 dimensions of QLQ-C30 questionnaire, and 4/7 dimensions of QLQ-BR23 questionnaire. In contrast, a decrease of the RS effect was observed in 8/15 dimensions of QLQ-C30 questionnaire and in 5/7 dimensions of QLQ-BR23 questionnaire in case of improvement. At T2, the MID became ≥ 5 points when taking into account the RS effect in 10/15 dimensions of QLQ-C30 questionnaire and in 5/7 dimensions of QLQ-BR23 questionnaire. This study highlights that the RS effect increases over time in

  19. On methodology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cheesman, Robin; Faraone, Roque

    2002-01-01

    This is an English version of the methodology chapter in the authors' book "El caso Berríos: Estudio sobre información errónea, desinformación y manipulación de la opinión pública".......This is an English version of the methodology chapter in the authors' book "El caso Berríos: Estudio sobre información errónea, desinformación y manipulación de la opinión pública"....

  20. The Zhongshan Score

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lin; Guo, Jianming; Wang, Hang; Wang, Guomin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In the zero ischemia era of nephron-sparing surgery (NSS), a new anatomic classification system (ACS) is needed to adjust to these new surgical techniques. We devised a novel and simple ACS, and compared it with the RENAL and PADUA scores to predict the risk of NSS outcomes. We retrospectively evaluated 789 patients who underwent NSS with available imaging between January 2007 and July 2014. Demographic and clinical data were assessed. The Zhongshan (ZS) score consisted of three parameters. RENAL, PADUA, and ZS scores are divided into three groups, that is, high, moderate, and low scores. For operative time (OT), significant differences were seen between any two groups of ZS score and PADUA score (all P RENAL showed no significant difference between moderate and high complexity in OT, WIT, estimated blood loss, and increase in SCr. Compared with patients with a low score of ZS, those with a high or moderate score had 8.1-fold or 3.3-fold higher risk of surgical complications, respectively (all P RENAL score, patients with a high or moderate score had 5.7-fold or 1.9-fold higher risk of surgical complications, respectively (all P RENAL and PADUA scores. ZS score could be used to reflect the surgical complexity and predict the risk of surgical complications in patients undergoing NSS. PMID:25654399

  1. As good as it gets? A meta-analysis and systematic review of methodological quality of heart rate variability studies in functional somatic disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tak, L.M.; Riese, H.; de Bock, G.H.; Manoharan, A.; Kok, I.C.; Rosmalen, J.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction is a potential mechanism connecting psychosocial stress to functional somatic disorders (FSD), such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. We present the first meta-analysis and systematic review of methodological study

  2. Methodological guidelines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsnaes, K.; Callaway, J.M.; Meyer, H.J.

    1999-01-01

    The guideline document establishes a general overview of the main components of climate change mitigation assessment. This includes an outline of key economic concepts, scenario structure, common assumptions, modelling tools and country study assumptions. The guidelines are supported by Handbook Reports that contain more detailed specifications of calculation standards, input assumptions and available tools. The major objectives of the project have been provided a methodology, an implementing framework and a reporting system which countries can follow in meeting their future reporting obligations under the FCCC and for GEF enabling activities. The project builds upon the methodology development and application in the UNEP National Abatement Coasting Studies (UNEP, 1994a). The various elements provide countries with a road map for conducting climate change mitigation studies and submitting national reports as required by the FCCC. (au) 121 refs

  3. Methodological guidelines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halsnaes, K.; Callaway, J.M.; Meyer, H.J.

    1999-04-01

    The guideline document establishes a general overview of the main components of climate change mitigation assessment. This includes an outline of key economic concepts, scenario structure, common assumptions, modelling tools and country study assumptions. The guidelines are supported by Handbook Reports that contain more detailed specifications of calculation standards, input assumptions and available tools. The major objectives of the project have been provided a methodology, an implementing framework and a reporting system which countries can follow in meeting their future reporting obligations under the FCCC and for GEF enabling activities. The project builds upon the methodology development and application in the UNEP National Abatement Coasting Studies (UNEP, 1994a). The various elements provide countries with a road map for conducting climate change mitigation studies and submitting national reports as required by the FCCC. (au) 121 refs.

  4. The association between health-related quality-of-life scores and clinical outcomes in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients: Exploratory analyses of AFFIRM and PREVAIL studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Tomasz M; Miller, Kurt; Tombal, Bertrand; Cella, David; Phung, De; Holmstrom, Stefan; Ivanescu, Cristina; Skaltsa, Konstantina; Naidoo, Shevani

    2017-12-01

    Our exploratory analysis examined the association between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (baseline and change over time) and clinical outcomes (overall survival [OS]/radiographic progression-free survival [rPFS]) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). HRQoL, OS and rPFS were assessed in phase III trials comparing enzalutamide with placebo in chemotherapy-naïve (PREVAIL; NCT01212991) or post-chemotherapy (AFFIRM; NCT00974311) mCRPC. HRQoL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate (FACT-P). Multivariate analyses evaluated the prognostic significance of baseline and time-dependent scores after adjusting for treatment and clinical/demographic variables. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) represented the hazard of rPFS or OS per minimally important difference (MID) score change in HRQoL variables. In baseline and time-dependent multivariate analyses, OS was independently associated with multiple HRQoL measures across both studies. In time-dependent analyses, a 10-point (upper bound of MID range) increase (improvement) in FACT-P total score was associated with reductions in mortality risk of 19% in AFFIRM (HR 0.81 [95% CI 0.78-0.84]) and 21% in PREVAIL (HR 0.79 [0.76-0.83]). For baseline analyses, a 10-point increase in FACT-P total score was associated with reductions in mortality risk of 12% (HR 0.88 [0.84-0.93]) and 10% (HR 0.90 [0.86-0.95]) in AFFIRM and PREVAIL, respectively. rPFS was associated with a subset of HRQoL domains in both studies. Several baseline HRQoL domains were prognostic for rPFS and OS in patients with mCRPC, and this association was maintained during treatment, indicating that changes in HRQoL are informative for patients' expected survival. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Transparent Guideline Methodology Needed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lidal, Ingeborg; Norén, Camilla; Mäkelä, Marjukka

    2013-01-01

    As part of learning at the Nordic Workshop of Evidence-based Medicine, we have read with interest the practice guidelines for central venous access, published in your Journal in 2012.1 We appraised the quality of this guideline using the checklist developed by The Evidence-Based Medicine Working ...... are based on best currently available evidence. Our concerns are in two main categories: the rigor of development, including methodology of searching, evaluating, and combining the evidence; and editorial independence, including funding and possible conflicts of interest....... Group.2 Similar criteria for guideline quality have been suggested elsewhere.3 Our conclusion was that this much needed guideline is currently unclear about several aspects of the methodology used in developing the recommendations. This means potential users cannot be certain that the recommendations...

  6. How to score questionnaires

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstee, W.K.B.; Ten Berge, J.M.F.; Hendriks, A.A.J.

    The standard practice in scoring questionnaires consists of adding item scores and standardizing these sums. We present a set of alternative procedures, consisting of (a) correcting for the acquiescence variance that disturbs the structure of the questionnaire; (b) establishing item weights through

  7. SCORE - A DESCRIPTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    SLACK, CHARLES W.

    REINFORCEMENT AND ROLE-REVERSAL TECHNIQUES ARE USED IN THE SCORE PROJECT, A LOW-COST PROGRAM OF DELINQUENCY PREVENTION FOR HARD-CORE TEENAGE STREET CORNER BOYS. COMMITTED TO THE BELIEF THAT THE BOYS HAVE THE POTENTIAL FOR ETHICAL BEHAVIOR, THE SCORE WORKER FOLLOWS B.F. SKINNER'S THEORY OF OPERANT CONDITIONING AND REINFORCES THE DELINQUENT'S GOOD…

  8. MIRD methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojo, Ana M.; Gomez Parada, Ines

    2004-01-01

    The MIRD (Medical Internal Radiation Dose) system was established by the Society of Nuclear Medicine of USA in 1960 to assist the medical community in the estimation of the dose in organs and tissues due to the incorporation of radioactive materials. Since then, 'MIRD Dose Estimate Report' (from the 1 to 12) and 'Pamphlets', of great utility for the dose calculations, were published. The MIRD system was planned essentially for the calculation of doses received by the patients during nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures. The MIRD methodology for the absorbed doses calculations in different tissues is explained

  9. PSA methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magne, L

    1997-12-31

    The purpose of this text is first to ask a certain number of questions on the methods related to PSAs. Notably we will explore the positioning of the French methodological approach - as applied in the EPS 1300{sup 1} and EPS 900{sup 2} PSAs - compared to other approaches (Part One). This reflection leads to more general reflection: what contents, for what PSA? This is why, in Part Two, we will try to offer a framework for definition of the criteria a PSA should satisfy to meet the clearly identified needs. Finally, Part Three will quickly summarize the questions approached in the first two parts, as an introduction to the debate. 15 refs.

  10. PSA methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magne, L.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this text is first to ask a certain number of questions on the methods related to PSAs. Notably we will explore the positioning of the French methodological approach - as applied in the EPS 1300 1 and EPS 900 2 PSAs - compared to other approaches (Part One). This reflection leads to more general reflection: what contents, for what PSA? This is why, in Part Two, we will try to offer a framework for definition of the criteria a PSA should satisfy to meet the clearly identified needs. Finally, Part Three will quickly summarize the questions approached in the first two parts, as an introduction to the debate. 15 refs

  11. A scoring system for appraising mixed methods research, and concomitantly appraising qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods primary studies in Mixed Studies Reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pluye, Pierre; Gagnon, Marie-Pierre; Griffiths, Frances; Johnson-Lafleur, Janique

    2009-04-01

    A new form of literature review has emerged, Mixed Studies Review (MSR). These reviews include qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies. In the present paper, we examine MSRs in health sciences, and provide guidance on processes that should be included and reported. However, there are no valid and usable criteria for concomitantly appraising the methodological quality of the qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies. To propose criteria for concomitantly appraising the methodological quality of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies or study components. A three-step critical review was conducted. 2322 references were identified in MEDLINE, and their titles and abstracts were screened; 149 potentially relevant references were selected and the full-text papers were examined; 59 MSRs were retained and scrutinized using a deductive-inductive qualitative thematic data analysis. This revealed three types of MSR: convenience, reproducible, and systematic. Guided by a proposal, we conducted a qualitative thematic data analysis of the quality appraisal procedures used in the 17 systematic MSRs (SMSRs). Of 17 SMSRs, 12 showed clear quality appraisal procedures with explicit criteria but no SMSR used valid checklists to concomitantly appraise qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies. In two SMSRs, criteria were developed following a specific procedure. Checklists usually contained more criteria than needed. In four SMSRs, a reliability assessment was described or mentioned. While criteria for quality appraisal were usually based on descriptors that require specific methodological expertise (e.g., appropriateness), no SMSR described the fit between reviewers' expertise and appraised studies. Quality appraisal usually resulted in studies being ranked by methodological quality. A scoring system is proposed for concomitantly appraising the methodological quality of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies for SMSRs. This

  12. Developing a Mental Health eClinic to Improve Access to and Quality of Mental Health Care for Young People: Using Participatory Design as Research Methodologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ospina-Pinillos, Laura; Davenport, Tracey A; Ricci, Cristina S; Milton, Alyssa C; Scott, Elizabeth M; Hickie, Ian B

    2018-05-28

    Each year, many young Australians aged between 16 and 25 years experience a mental health disorder, yet only a small proportion access services and even fewer receive timely and evidence-based treatments. Today, with ever-increasing access to the Internet and use of technology, the potential to provide all young people with access (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to the support they require to improve their mental health and well-being is promising. The aim of this study was to use participatory design (PD) as research methodologies with end users (young people aged between 16 and 25 years and youth health professionals) and our research team to develop the Mental Health eClinic (a Web-based mental health clinic) to improve timely access to, and better quality, mental health care for young people across Australia. A research and development (R&D) cycle for the codesign and build of the Mental Health eClinic included several iterative PD phases: PD workshops; translation of knowledge and ideas generated during workshops to produce mockups of webpages either as hand-drawn sketches or as wireframes (simple layout of a webpage before visual design and content is added); rapid prototyping; and one-on-one consultations with end users to assess the usability of the alpha build of the Mental Health eClinic. Four PD workshops were held with 28 end users (young people n=18, youth health professionals n=10) and our research team (n=8). Each PD workshop was followed by a knowledge translation session. At the conclusion of this cycle, the alpha prototype was built, and one round of one-on-one end user consultation sessions was conducted (n=6; all new participants, young people n=4, youth health professionals n=2). The R&D cycle revealed the importance of five key components for the Mental Health eClinic: a home page with a visible triage system for those requiring urgent help; a comprehensive online physical and mental health assessment; a detailed dashboard of results; a

  13. The Bandim tuberculosis score

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rudolf, Frauke; Joaquim, Luis Carlos; Vieira, Cesaltina

    2013-01-01

    Background: This study was carried out in Guinea-Bissau ’ s capital Bissau among inpatients and outpatients attending for tuberculosis (TB) treatment within the study area of the Bandim Health Project, a Health and Demographic Surveillance Site. Our aim was to assess the variability between 2...... physicians in performing the Bandim tuberculosis score (TBscore), a clinical severity score for pulmonary TB (PTB), and to compare it to the Karnofsky performance score (KPS). Method : From December 2008 to July 2009 we assessed the TBscore and the KPS of 100 PTB patients at inclusion in the TB cohort and...

  14. Practical demonstration of urban air quality simulation models. Part I. A report of the NATO/CCMS pilot study on air pollution assessment methodology and modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1980-08-01

    Report shows cooperation of NATO member nations in developing standardized methods for emissions data storage and retrieval to support requirements in conduct of national air quality management programs. Shows cooperation in developing standardized techniques for projecting emissions and predicting future ambient air quality.

  15. A Novel Scoring System Approach to Assess Patients with Lyme Disease (Nutech Functional Score)

    OpenAIRE

    Geeta Shroff; Petra Hopf-Seidel

    2018-01-01

    Introduction: A bacterial infection by Borrelia burgdorferi referred to as Lyme disease (LD) or borreliosis is transmitted mostly by a bite of the tick Ixodes scapularis in the USA and Ixodes ricinus in Europe. Various tests are used for the diagnosis of LD, but their results are often unreliable. We compiled a list of clinically visible and patient-reported symptoms that are associated with LD. Based on this list, we developed a novel scoring system. Methodology: Nutech functional Score (NF...

  16. Volleyball Scoring Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, William; Dargahi-Noubary, G. R.; Shi, Yixun

    2002-01-01

    The widespread interest in sports in our culture provides an excellent opportunity to catch students' attention in mathematics and statistics classes. One mathematically interesting aspect of volleyball, which can be used to motivate students, is the scoring system. (MM)

  17. Quality dependent fusion of intramodal and multimodal biometric experts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittler, J.; Poh, N.; Fatukasi, O.; Messer, K.; Kryszczuk, K.; Richiardi, J.; Drygajlo, A.

    2007-04-01

    We address the problem of score level fusion of intramodal and multimodal experts in the context of biometric identity verification. We investigate the merits of confidence based weighting of component experts. In contrast to the conventional approach where confidence values are derived from scores, we use instead raw measures of biometric data quality to control the influence of each expert on the final fused score. We show that quality based fusion gives better performance than quality free fusion. The use of quality weighted scores as features in the definition of the fusion functions leads to further improvements. We demonstrate that the achievable performance gain is also affected by the choice of fusion architecture. The evaluation of the proposed methodology involves 6 face and one speech verification experts. It is carried out on the XM2VTS data base.

  18. Combination of scoring schemes for protein docking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schomburg Dietmar

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Docking algorithms are developed to predict in which orientation two proteins are likely to bind under natural conditions. The currently used methods usually consist of a sampling step followed by a scoring step. We developed a weighted geometric correlation based on optimised atom specific weighting factors and combined them with our previously published amino acid specific scoring and with a comprehensive SVM-based scoring function. Results The scoring with the atom specific weighting factors yields better results than the amino acid specific scoring. In combination with SVM-based scoring functions the percentage of complexes for which a near native structure can be predicted within the top 100 ranks increased from 14% with the geometric scoring to 54% with the combination of all scoring functions. Especially for the enzyme-inhibitor complexes the results of the ranking are excellent. For half of these complexes a near-native structure can be predicted within the first 10 proposed structures and for more than 86% of all enzyme-inhibitor complexes within the first 50 predicted structures. Conclusion We were able to develop a combination of different scoring schemes which considers a series of previously described and some new scoring criteria yielding a remarkable improvement of prediction quality.

  19. Determining utility values in patients with anterior cruciate ligament tears using clinical scoring systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szucs Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several instruments and clinical scoring systems have been established to evaluate patients with ligamentous knee injuries. A comparison of individual articles in the literature is challenging, not only because of heterogeneity in methodology, but also due to the variety of the scoring systems used to document clinical outcomes. There is limited information about the correlation between used scores and quality of life with no information being available on the impact of each score on the utility values. The aim of this study was to compare the most commonly used scores for evaluating patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injuries, and to establish corresponding utility values. These values will be used for the interpretation and comparison of outcome results in the currently available literature for different treatment options. Methods Four hypothetical vignettes were defined, based on different levels of activities after rupture of the ACL to simulate typical situations seen in daily practice. A questionnaire, including the Health Utility Index (HUI for utility values, the IKDC subjective score, the Lysholm and the Tegner score, was created and 25 orthopedic surgeons were asked to fill the questionnaire for each hypothetical patient as proxies for all patients they had treated and who would fit in that hypothetical vignette. Results The utility value as an indicator for quality of life increased with the level of activity. Having discomforts already during normal activities of daily living was rated with a mean utility value of 0.37 ± 0.19, half of that of a situation where mild sport activity was possible without discomfort (0.78 ± 0.11. All investigated scores were able to distinguish clearly (p Conclusions Here we report the correlation between the most commonly used scores for the assessment of patients with a ruptured ACL and utility values as an indicator of quality of life. Assumptions were based on expert

  20. Back-and-Forth Methodology for Objective Voice Quality Assessment: From/to Expert Knowledge to/from Automatic Classification of Dysphonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredouille, Corinne; Pouchoulin, Gilles; Ghio, Alain; Revis, Joana; Bonastre, Jean-François; Giovanni, Antoine

    2009-12-01

    This paper addresses voice disorder assessment. It proposes an original back-and-forth methodology involving an automatic classification system as well as knowledge of the human experts (machine learning experts, phoneticians, and pathologists). The goal of this methodology is to bring a better understanding of acoustic phenomena related to dysphonia. The automatic system was validated on a dysphonic corpus (80 female voices), rated according to the GRBAS perceptual scale by an expert jury. Firstly, focused on the frequency domain, the classification system showed the interest of 0-3000 Hz frequency band for the classification task based on the GRBAS scale. Later, an automatic phonemic analysis underlined the significance of consonants and more surprisingly of unvoiced consonants for the same classification task. Submitted to the human experts, these observations led to a manual analysis of unvoiced plosives, which highlighted a lengthening of VOT according to the dysphonia severity validated by a preliminary statistical analysis.

  1. Back-and-Forth Methodology for Objective Voice Quality Assessment: From/to Expert Knowledge to/from Automatic Classification of Dysphonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinne Fredouille

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses voice disorder assessment. It proposes an original back-and-forth methodology involving an automatic classification system as well as knowledge of the human experts (machine learning experts, phoneticians, and pathologists. The goal of this methodology is to bring a better understanding of acoustic phenomena related to dysphonia. The automatic system was validated on a dysphonic corpus (80 female voices, rated according to the GRBAS perceptual scale by an expert jury. Firstly, focused on the frequency domain, the classification system showed the interest of 0–3000 Hz frequency band for the classification task based on the GRBAS scale. Later, an automatic phonemic analysis underlined the significance of consonants and more surprisingly of unvoiced consonants for the same classification task. Submitted to the human experts, these observations led to a manual analysis of unvoiced plosives, which highlighted a lengthening of VOT according to the dysphonia severity validated by a preliminary statistical analysis.

  2. Reduction of Complications of Local Anaesthesia in Dental Healthcare Setups by Application of the Six Sigma Methodology: A Statistical Quality Improvement Technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akifuddin, Syed; Khatoon, Farheen

    2015-12-01

    Health care faces challenges due to complications, inefficiencies and other concerns that threaten the safety of patients. The purpose of his study was to identify causes of complications encountered after administration of local anaesthesia for dental and oral surgical procedures and to reduce the incidence of complications by introduction of six sigma methodology. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) process of Six Sigma was taken into consideration to reduce the incidence of complications encountered after administration of local anaesthesia injections for dental and oral surgical procedures using failure mode and effect analysis. Pareto analysis was taken into consideration to analyse the most recurring complications. Paired z-sample test using Minitab Statistical Inference and Fisher's exact test was used to statistically analyse the obtained data. The p-value six sigma improvement methodology in healthcare tends to deliver consistently better results to the patients as well as hospitals and results in better patient compliance as well as satisfaction.

  3. PM10 and gaseous pollutants trends from air quality monitoring networks in Bari province: principal component analysis and absolute principal component scores on a two years and half data set

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background The chemical composition of aerosols and particle size distributions are the most significant factors affecting air quality. In particular, the exposure to finer particles can cause short and long-term effects on human health. In the present paper PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter lower than 10 μm), CO, NOx (NO and NO2), Benzene and Toluene trends monitored in six monitoring stations of Bari province are shown. The data set used was composed by bi-hourly means for all parameters (12 bi-hourly means per day for each parameter) and it’s referred to the period of time from January 2005 and May 2007. The main aim of the paper is to provide a clear illustration of how large data sets from monitoring stations can give information about the number and nature of the pollutant sources, and mainly to assess the contribution of the traffic source to PM10 concentration level by using multivariate statistical techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Absolute Principal Component Scores (APCS). Results Comparing the night and day mean concentrations (per day) for each parameter it has been pointed out that there is a different night and day behavior for some parameters such as CO, Benzene and Toluene than PM10. This suggests that CO, Benzene and Toluene concentrations are mainly connected with transport systems, whereas PM10 is mostly influenced by different factors. The statistical techniques identified three recurrent sources, associated with vehicular traffic and particulate transport, covering over 90% of variance. The contemporaneous analysis of gas and PM10 has allowed underlining the differences between the sources of these pollutants. Conclusions The analysis of the pollutant trends from large data set and the application of multivariate statistical techniques such as PCA and APCS can give useful information about air quality and pollutant’s sources. These knowledge can provide useful advices to environmental policies in

  4. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  5. Testing methodologies